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The places where women should think twice before jumping on train

CSI NY, Law & Order will find few crimes on the subway

There was a time when New York City’s subway system was considered among the most crime riddled mass transit networks in the world; but that’s certainly not the case anymore, according to a recent study, which deemed NYC’s subway the safest public transport system for women in 16 of the world’s major capital cities.


Conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the study compared the public transport systems of the 15 most populous country capitals around the world, as well as New York City, and rated NYC the safest for women, ahead of Tokyo, Beijing, London and Seoul.


Crime on The Big Apple’s subway system has dropped 75 percent in the past 25 years, a figure made more impressive by the fact the Subway operates 24/7, while most other major underground systems, such as Paris’s Metro (which was ranked 11th safest), London’s Tube and even Asia’s largest transit systems, don’t operate overnight.


Despite the relative safety of NYC’s Subway, 34 percent of New York respondents still said they had suffered from some form of verbal abuse, while three out of ten said they had been groped whilst travelling.


However, the report praised NYC for having strong security checks in place, while about half of NY women said they felt confident that someone would intervene on their behalf if they were in trouble.


To put this in perspective, in Seoul, 90 percent of women said they did not expect fellow passengers to intervene if they were in trouble, while in Paris the figure was 85 percent.



At the other end of the safety scale, the poll found metropolises in poorer countries to have higher rates of crime against women.


The cities with the least safe public transport systems for women were Bogota (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Lima (Peru), Delhi (India) and Jakarta (Indonesia).


Run in collaboration with market research firm YouGov, the study looked at issues of safety at night, verbal and physical harassment, public response to abuse as well as confidence in authorities.


The survey polled 380 to over 500 women across income levels and ages, plus ten experts in each of the 16 cities.


To view the full results of the survey, click here.


How safe do you feel travelling on public transport where you live – or in any of the places to which you travel?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 3 November 2014

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