Public Transit & Perceptions of Safety: 1st Roundtable

On September 24, 2022, the Public Transit working group in the Global Walkability Correspondents Network working group at Pedestrian Space hosted a Roundtable on ‘Public Transit & Perceptions of Safety‘. The Roundtable was led by Peter Kaljian, a planner based in Sonoma County, California.

This was the first in what will be a series of such Roundtables at which people share lived experiences and perceptions of safety (or lack thereof) while using public transit in their communities (including the process of getting there, stations ad transit shelters and of course experiences on board).

What is very interesting, I thought as this Roundtable was in action, is that our network has several public transit professionals as well as advocates. So it is very easy for dialogue to swerve into pretty high-level transit talk that nobody other than those who work with or are strong transit advocates is likely to understand (or be interested in!).

The goal with these Roundtables (and it is an exercise in progress!) is to both create space for people to share, as host Peter Kaljian mentioned, the ‘soft data’ – the more emotional side to our commutes, experiences & movements that sometimes we don’t even think to share until given a space to do so.

Many, if not most, people are frankly just busy moving from point A to point B in their daily lives and not examining afterward all aspects of why they felt unsafe on a particular ride or a specific station although it might have a real impact on their transit choices.

We look forward to continuing the series and next month beginning Roundtables dedicated specifically to ‘Amplifying Female Voices & Experiences‘ in perceptions of safety while using public transit. Any network participants who want to join will be able to, but the space will be set for exclusive sharing by women about their experiences.

Thank you to those who attended this Roundtable and look forward to seeing you at future ones!

  • Peter Kaljian – Host (Sonoma County, CA, USA)
  • Divantha Ekanayake (Kandy & Colombo, Sri Lanka)
  • Mohammad Nikkhah (Isfahan, Iran)
  • Blair Lorenzo (New York, NY, USA)
  • Zvi Leve (Montreal, QC, Canada)
  • Dániel Szigeti (Wolfenbüttel, Germany & Budapest, Hungary)

-Annika Lundkvist (Warsaw, Poland)