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South America / Brazil

Women in Brasilia can now get off night buses whenever they want

A recent poll conducted by Reuters starkly outlined the less-than-ideal conditions for women on public transport around the world. Around 70 per cent of the respondants said they’d feel safer on women-only transport. In Bogota, the city with the lowest ratings, 82 per cent of women surveyed said they agreed that safe transport wasn’t available anywhere in their city.

Suggested solutions to the problem range from segregated transport to better reporting systems and more transport police. One Brazilian city, however, has introduced a relatively simple measure to improve the safety of women travelling at night: after 10pm, the Brasilia’s buses will now drop women off wherever they like, regardless of official bus stops. 

Under the new law, introduced in June, drivers are required to offer the service, and must display information explaining how to request a stop after 10pm. 

According to The City Fix, a recent study on urban transport behaviour in Brasilia found that women often must travel down deserted streets between their bus stop and home at night. The new system should mean that women can get as close to their destination as possible before leaving the bus – though we assume drivers will draw the line at detours to drop women at their front doors. 

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New York has operated a similar post-10pm “Request-a-Stop” system on local bus routes since 2005 – there, though, the system applies to both genders. 

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