John over at RT Rider has an interesting post about his observations of a lady who clearly didn't feel comfortable at the bus stop with folks that weren't like her. This comes on the same day that I have a discussion with a person I had invited to a concert next week. Since the show is downtown, I asked if we could meet somewhere off of Muni so she didn't have to walk through a somewhat seedy part of Market Street by herself. She responded that she didn't take transit. Oh she'd tried it a few times but transit had always let her down.
The first thing that came to mind was oh man, we are not going to get along, the second was, how much different is the transit riding experience to females than it is to someone such as me who is somewhat tall, somewhat driven to take transit, and can be a bit scary myself when I haven't shaved in a bit? Would ridership go up if the situation were improved such that females felt safer and more comfortable on transit? I know many girls that are pretty hardcore about transit and aren't worried at all. But then there are those that I know that don't like to take it, especially alone. I think improving it for those types would improve it for everyone. Is that a standard to meet?