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Disaggregated Data

"Because data fails to take into account gender... bias and discrimination are baked into our systems" - Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women 

Why is this important?

Data is utilised in some format in nearly all transport projects. However, in most cases this data is gender neutral and therefore reinforces gender stereotypes and perpetuates inequality. Having gender disaggregated data would rectify the gender data gap and allow transport professionals to better understand the gendered differences of transport policy, design and networks. Understanding this allows for better gender responsive planning and provides better information to overcome inequalities. 


Drivers for Change

  • ​Use gender-sensitive data. Collect data on users that is disaggregated by gender and does do in a gender-sensitive manner (e.g. avoiding gender-based assumptions and language). Having the following gender response options is a good example of how to ask a person's gender identity ->

  • Redevelop Transport Surveys. 

    • Include data on non-work related trips. This may involve reframing current data sets or collecting new data to consider trips made for care or leisure.

    • ​Adjust the focus of surveys so that mobility patterns outside of weekday commuting times are counted where possible.

    • Have variable mode choice options and allow for the input of multiple trip purposes to capture data on trip chaining.

  • Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative data. Incorporating sources such as survey data and travel diary data into research will help to build a bigger picture of travel patterns, preferences and experiences.

  • Conduct attitude and perception surveys. This type of survey data is valuable to identify users areas of concern, how existing schemes are perceived and opportunities for improvements. 

  • Create local level databases of information. Share disaggregated data amongst localities to help benefit other schemes.

  • Get in touch with local community groups. Community groups hold a wealth of information and may already collect disaggregated data related to transport.



Example of how to ask a persons gender identity in a survey:

What best describes your gender?

[ ] Female

[ ] Male

[ ] Prefer not to say

[ ] Prefer to self-describe________________

For further information and guidance on how to include questions on gender identity in surveys please refer to the following Stonewall guide which you can access here.

Case Studies:

Travel in London: Understanding our diverse communities


This Transport for London report sets out the results from different areas of research regarding the barriers faced by London’s communities when accessing transport. The report amalgamates data from a number of different sources on different user group travel patterns, travel behaviours, attitudes towards safety and service provision satisfaction. Gender is one of the seven equality groups focused on in the report. Data and insights from this report are fed into Transport for London’s programmes and projects to help reduce barriers to travel and make evidence based decisions.

Click here to read the report.


Image by Zck_
Image by Eriksson Luo

Active Transport Across Sydney Through a Gender Lens


This study, carried out by the City of Sydney and C40 Cities, presents data regarding the different drivers for mode choice and the enabling factors and challenges which women in the city face when walking and cycling. The study has a core focus on active transport for complex trips e.g. those that involve trip chaining. The study uses a participatory methodology, combining data from a survey, interviews with a diverse range of participants as well as stakeholder workshops with planning, health and transport professionals in addition to walking and cycling community groups. Data and insights from this report have been used to better understand and consider women’s unique mobility needs in planning activities.

Click here to read the report.


Bike Life Women - Reducing the gender gap

Bike Life, which is produced by Sustrans, is the largest assessment of cycling in 18 urban areas across the UK and Ireland. Each area produces a report every two years. City data and a representative questionnaire of all residents is used to measure behaviours, attitudes, infrastructure and the benefits of cycling. The data is reviewed in relation to the groups that participate less in cycling, including women, and a separate report was published in 2018 specifically exploring why women cycle less.

Click here to read the report.


Image by Andrew Gook
Image by Mangopear creative

Transport for Greater Manchester - Covid Recovery

Transport for Greater Manchester regularly uses segmentation tools and disaggregation of data by different demographic groups to better understand the diverse travel needs and experiences of local people. During 2020 and 2021, they have been undertaking a series of surveys to understand the impact of COVID on people’s activities and travel patterns. By disaggregating the data by gender they have been able to identify some of the key differences in how men and women have been affected by the pandemic.  This work is informing their post-COVID recovery planning interventions and enables them to focus their resources on the specific needs of different people travelling in Greater Manchester.


Propensity to Cycle Tool - 'Gender Equality' Scenario


The Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) is a widely used online tool used to understand cycling potential in England and Wales. 'Gender Equality' is one of the four scenarios of change used to illustrate the increase in cycling that would result if women were as likely as men to cycle a given trip. A recent update to the PCT includes a new 'travel to school' layer, this provides estimates of cycling potential to state schools to overcome the emphasis on arterial routes to employment zones. Combining this with the commute layer can show what a more integrated cycle network could look like and helps to provide data on non-commuting trips.

Click here to visit the tool site.


Image by nextbike

Close the Data Gap: Gender Equity in Transport Research 

This working group aim to create an equitable future for all by closing the gender data gap that currently exists in transport research. They review current research practice at each phase of the research lifecycle to provide an understanding of the steps that are required for gender equitable research outcomes. The working group are compiling transport specific guidance on how research projects may impact gender unfairly.   

Click here to visit their site.

Image by UX Indonesia
City Garden

YourGround Victoria Report: 

YourGround Victoria was a collaborative research project carried out by Monash University XYX Lab and CrowdSpot. The project surveyed women and gender-diverse people to understand their experiences and perceptions of safety when using open spaces for leisure, sport, exercise or play within Victoria. The study used the YourGround crowdsourced mapping tool which allowed participants to anonymously geo-tag their experiences of safety to a specific open space. The outcomes of the study will be used to build awareness of issues of safety for women and gender diverse people, prioritise the needs of women and gender diverse people in strategy and budgets and meet the requirements of the Gender Equality Act (2020).

Click here to view the archive map.

Click here to read the report.

Railway Tracks closeup

Rail Delivery Group - Understanding the issue of Unwanted Sexual Behaviour on the UK Train Network: 

The Rail Delivery Group carried out both quantitative and qualitative survey methods to understand the first-hand experiences of rail users. They used attitude and perception surveys in focus groups to identify areas of concern surrounding unwanted sexual behaviour. Gathering personal accounts they discovered a complex picture, with all rail users having different experiences based on personal, societal and contextual factors.  Using this information, they have identified the different areas that need to be addressed.  

Los Angeles Department of Transportation - Changing Lanes: A Gender Equity Transportation Study: 

This study conducted by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation was commissioned to help to advance efforts to achieve a more gender-equitable transport system. The study sought to bridge the data gap by collecting information on the unique experiences and needs of women navigating Los Angeles’ transportation system. The study utilised a range of research methods, including surveys, interviews and engaging with local community stakeholder groups, to collect data on lived experience. The study concludes by presenting a series of recommendations for the department of transport to take forward and apply for an equitable, efficient, and affordable transport system that serves all genders.

Click here to read the report.

Image by Olenka Kotyk

TramLab Toolkit 3: Toolkit for Gender-Sensitive Data: 

This Toolkit, which is one out of a set of four (see Empowering Industry page and Inclusive Design page), is the outcome of a joint research project by La Trobe University, Monash University XYX Lab and RMIT which seeks to improve the safety of women and girls on public transport.  This toolkit, which has drawn on research from a range of different studies and data sources, looks at how gender-sensitive data collection and analysis processes can be used to improve women’s safety on public transport.

Click here to view the toolkit.

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