Sign In
Travelling alone at night can be scary | Geral/Pixabay
Travelling alone at night can be scary | Geral/Pixabay
Save to wishlist

Paris Trials New Bus Safety Measures to Combat Sexual Harrassment

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 12 February 2018
In a bid to bring peace of mind to night-time travellers, Paris is experimenting with new safety measures that allow people to hop off even when the bus isn’t at a designated stop. The new hop-on, hop-off system aims to reduce sexual harassment and abuse. Valérie Pécresse, president of the greater Paris region of Île-de-France, who has been victim to harassment on public transport herself, is pioneering significant changes within the inter-city transport system.

From February 2018, there will be ten lines in the greater Paris area where stops can be requested (by women or men) in order to shorten the route between the bus stop and their home.

Travelling at night can be scary | Geral/Pixabay

‘The interest is to avoid these attacks that take place on the way home’, she said, as reported in The Local. ‘We can not stand idly by while a woman is being attacked. We have created new positions because the human presence is insufficient’.

The new measures will be accompanied by an increased use of video surveillance across the transport system. ‘By 2020, all carriages will be videotaped, including on trains that go to the furthest suburbs, because there are no second-class citizens’, she said. ‘This year, 100% of buses will have video protection’.

Using public transport can be a stressful experience for women | © Pxhere

According to a recent survey, one in two women in France will choose to wear trousers over a skirt to avoid becoming the victim of sexual harassment while travelling. This is only the tip of the iceberg, with nearly 90% of the participants admitting to having experienced some form of harassment on public transport, like the underground.

However, if these new measures prove successful, this system will eventually be rolled out across the whole transport network. In addition to this hop-off experiment, there will be 650 extra staff members hired to dress in plain clothes and monitor safety on trains and buses.