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During 2019 the ACT government has made significant changes to the transport system in Canberra to accommodate the tram line from Gungahlin to the city. The bus system was revamped with the mission of “safe, active, efficient & cost-effective, accessible and socially inclusive, sustainable, integrated with land use planning public transport.” As a result, many of the bus routes were changed and many bus stops were decommissioned.
In September WCHM began to hear from many women that changes to ACT’s bus routes had affected them and their feelings of safety and conducted a short survey to explore this further. From the results of the survey, WCHM selected 40 bus stops and conducted women’s safety audits. Photos were taken of the bus stops and surroundings – ‘the journey home’ – to show the factors which contributed to perceptions of safety for women. The audits identified a number of common factors which contributed to women feeling unsafe and more vulnerable at those stops which were audited
The report summarises the findings about some of the individual bus stops from the WCHM safety audits, and includes photos which convey the key factors which led to women feeling unsafe. And identifies some ways to make changes in urban planning principles that will make buses an accessible and safe transport option for women.