New Project: Advancing Equity in Accessibility and Travel Experiences: The Role of Gender and Identity

In the early 1990s, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet the state continues to use male-female categories when investigating the role of gender in transportation issues such as travel behavior and transportation accessibility. Since a person’s identity can have a significant influence on their own and others’ behavior and experiences, excluding gender diversity in this type of transportation research could result in an incomplete understanding of the issues and perceptions about quality of life.

“It is well-documented that men and women have distinctly different behaviors and approach challenges in very different ways,” said Hally Turner, policy planning director, MnDOT Planning and Programming. “Yet we continue to approach transportation with a one-size-fits-all approach. By not considering travel needs through a gender-diverse lens, we overlook information that could impact a variety of transportation-related decisions.”


In a new study, researchers will use an app-based survey to collect travel-related behavior data and integrate it with existing data to identify patterns based on presumed gender. A review of published literature on gender transportation, science and economics will also be conducted to understand how gender can influence travel-related behaviors. The findings of these efforts will be used to identify potential disparities in transportation costs and benefits across communities in urban, suburban and rural areas in Minnesota.

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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