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‘Guys Say Creepy Things’: 3 In 4 Women Harassed On Public Transport, Study Finds

November 12, 2018 - 7:37 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Three in four women say they’ve experienced unwanted touching or verbal abuse while traveling around New York City on public transportation, according to a new survey.

The study by the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation shows 75 percent of women experienced some form of harassment or theft while using public transport.

Nearly half of men – 47 percent – also said they’ve experienced harassment or theft while using public transport in the city.

The vast majority of the harassment – 86 percent – was in the subway, of which 76 percent was on train cars (as opposed to in stations), according to the survey.

The majority of incidents – 38 percent – were during rush hour, as opposed to late-night or off-peak hours.

NYU figures it costs women more money to get around the city – about $25 to $50 more each month.

That’s because women often feel safest using ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft instead of public transport. In fact, 42 percent said they prefer those services.

Sarah Kaufman, who led the NYU study, says this amounts to a “pink tax” on women.

“Instead of traveling on the subway late at night, they will take a taxi or for-hire vehicle in order to have a safer option,” she said.

Kaufman says caregivers who regularly travel with kids or elderly relatives are paying even more – an additional $75 or more for transport.

According to the survey, nearly 90 percent of people who experience harassment in the transit system didn’t report it.

Women told WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman that the survey reflects their everyday experiences.

“He was just like accosting us, telling us how beautiful we were. And then when we got up and walked away, he started yelling at us,” one woman said of a harasser.  

“He said things that were completely inappropriate for my age, which at the time was like 13 to 14,” another woman recalled.