A recent conference on public transportation in Israel revealed that women are perhaps the best customers of the Egged and Dan bus companies. Studies at the Public Transportation and Populations Conference held several weeks ago indicate that for one third of Israeli women, buses are the primary method of getting around, even if they have access to a car.
Far fewer men are interested in buses; if they ride them, it is usually to get to and from work, because driving is impractical. But for women, riding buses is not just a way to commute, but to shop, socialize, and participate in leisure activities. Mothers also accompany their children to school and after-school activities by bus.
According to Gavriella Lasky of the Public Transport Forum, who participated in the event, one of the reasons women are more connected to public transportation is that more of them work part time than men do, so they are less likely to qualify for a vehicle supplied by their workplace and less likely to see the value of driving.
“Many of them return in the middle of the workday, during hours when there are usually fewer buses,” she said. Schedules, she noted, should be reevaluated in light of the fact that early afternoons are usually “rush hour” time for the bus companies’ best customers.