Who Does Light Rail Serve? Examining Gendered Mobilities and Light-Rail Transit in Montreal, Canada

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, ridership - behaviour, policy - equity, planning - surveys


public transportation, light-rail transit, rail, sustainability and resilience, transportation and society, gender and women


Investment in light-rail transit (LRT) has been one of the main strategies of large metropolitan areas in the last decade to tackle environmental, economic, and social issues. In Montreal, Canada, a C$7 billion LRT system is currently under construction and is expected to significantly affect mobility patterns across the metropolitan region. It is crucial to identify how the impacts of such large public investments vary across societal groups to assess whether the distribution of benefits is fair and equitable. Using data from an online survey and a binary logistic modeling approach, we investigated the ways in which intentions to use this new LRT system differ across gender identities. First, we found that women are less likely than men to have an intention to use LRT. Our modeling results show that there are statistically significant differences across gender identities in the effect of certain sociodemographic and travel-behavior characteristics that explain the intention to use the LRT system. In respect of trip purpose, while women and men intend to use LRT for work trips to the same extent, men intend to use LRT for leisure and discretionary travel more than women. Our findings can help in guiding further research into gender gaps in transport studies and inform practitioners on how gender can be considered in LRT policy decisions so that the benefits of major public-transit investments are more equitably distributed.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.