Transforming mobility justice: Gendered harassment and violence on transit

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, planning - personal safety/crime, policy - equity, policy - social exclusion


Mobilities, Mobility justice, Transgender, Public transit, Violence


Mobility justice scholarship has shown that socially disadvantaged people experience uneven access to movement through various spaces and even ‘immobility’ based on their differential hold on resources and power. Scholarship on gendered mobilities demonstrates that public spaces, such as public transit, are structured in ways that serve to reproduce gender hierarchies. While much important work on gendered mobilities has focused on the unique limitations to mobility women experience in spaces such as public transport, there is little work that considers how other gender minorities experience mobility in these spaces. Drawing from 25 qualitative interviews with transgender and gender nonconforming public transit users in Portland, Oregon, this paper demonstrates that gender minorities experience significant challenges to their routine mobility on public transit. The consistency with which participants in this study experienced harassment, discrimination, and violence while attempting to use public transit suggests that scholarship on gendered mobilities must begin to theorize from a more expansive understanding of gender. Transport justice studies broadly, and the scholarship on gendered mobilities specifically, must move toward a more comprehensive understanding of the spectrum of gendered experiences that impact mobility and accessibility. The paper concludes with specific policy recommendations that could make direct impacts on the safety and comfort of transgender riders. While larger cultural and societal change is necessary to fully address these inequities, these smaller efforts would likely increase transgender people's use of public transportation.


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


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