2018 WBG Briefing: Public Transport and Gender

Date Posted: Friday 19th October 2018

October 2018


Ahead of the 2018 Autumn Budget, we’ve put together a briefing on public transport and gender.

View and download the full briefing here.


Key points
  • Travel by public transport is highly gendered. In 2017 across England, a third more women than men travelled by bus and a third more men than women travelled by rail. On average men made 17 journeys by London bus, 33 journeys by local buses (not London) and 24 journeys by rail (excluding London Underground). By contrast, on average, women made 18 journeys by London bus, 42 journeys by local bus and 18 journeys by rail.
  • Overall, expenditure on UK public transport (2016/17) was £29.1bn. This includes spending on national and local roads, local public transport (e.g. buses and local trains) and national rail. 54% of this was spent on rail, compared to 8% on ‘public transport’ including local buses.
  • Local Authority funding for buses across England has been cut by 46% since 2010/11, and by nearly £20.2 million in 2017/18 alone; in Wales, there has been a cut of 39% since 2010/11.
  • Across the UK (excluding London), public spending on ‘local public transport’ including buses, was £2.3million, whilst spending on railways was £15.7m. This equates to about £249 per person per year in England, compared to £8 per person per year for buses.
  • Bus fares increased by 3.3% in England between September 2016 and September 2017; rail fares increased by 3.4% between January 2017 and January 2018.
  • The vast majority of politicians and policy makers involved in high level decision making about public transport are white men.

Written by Rebecca Gill, independent consultant