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The Contribution of Comfort, Convenience, and Liking of Bicycling to the Bicycling Gender Gap: Evidence from Davis, California

UCD-ITS-RP-14-123

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National Center for Sustainable Transportation

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Bicycling as a mode of transportation has many benefits for women, yet throughout most of the world, women cycle less than men. Researchers have put forth many reasons for the gender gap in cycling, including that bicycling is less convenient for women, that they are less comfortable bicycling, and that they like bicycling less than men. Thus, a deeper understanding of women’s attitudes toward bicycling is an important step towards the development of policies and programs to increase bicycling among women. To that end, this paper explores results from a series of studies in Davis, California that have aimed to identify key factors influencing bicycling as a mode of transportation. The studies, conducted between 2006 and 2012, include both quantitative and qualitative approaches, with some focusing on adults and some on children. The results from these studies point to comfort and liking of bicycling as more important factors than convenience, and they suggest that differences between men and women begin early in life.
Suggested Citation: Handy, Susan. 2014. The Contribution of Comfort, Convenience, and Liking of Bicycling to the Bicycling Gender Gap: Evidence from Davis, California. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Women’s Issues in Transportation, Paris, April, pp. 487-496.