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"Pink tax": Safety concerns force women to pay more to get around NYC

A woman stands near the yellow strip on the concrete ground as a subway train goes past her.
Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Women in New York City spend on average $26 to $50 more on a transportation per month due to safety concerns, according to a new report on the "pink tax" by researchers at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation.

Why it matters: 75% of women surveyed said they had experienced harassment or theft on public transit, compared to less than half of male respondents. Almost a third of women avoid public transportation at night because of their experiences, and many prefer options such as Uber or Lyft. The fact that women find it harder to travel around the city safely and cheaply, WIRED points out, could lead to missed work or economic opportunities.

Between the lines: The extra travel expense is most extreme when women are caretakers, needing to take multiple trips with children. A majority of these women spend at least $76 extra each month on transportation.

Be smart: 93.4% of the respondents had at least a bachelor's degree — compared to only 34.5% citywide, and a disproportionate number of them lived in the majority white, wealthy Upper West Side.

  • Many female New Yorkers not represented in the survey may not have as easy of access to safer alternatives to public transit.
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