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Women Still Do More Traveling Than Men for Household Errands

The gender gap in U.S. transportation has been stubbornly persistent.
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Women have traditionally spent less time than men commuting (that sounds like a good thing, until you realize that it reflects fewer job opportunities) and more time traveling for household errands. With gender norms fading in the home and at work, you might expect these gaps in travel habits to narrow as well. That’s been true to some extent in Europe, but not so much in the U.S.—where the differences endure today, according to new research.

The work was published in the journal Transportation by public policy scholar Yingling Fan of the University of Minnesota. “I think it’s very convincing that the gender gap still exists,” she tells CityLab. “And it’s important that policymakers pay specific attention to women’s travel needs.” Let’s take a closer look.