Learning about Street Harassment on Transit: Preparing a Survey Instrument for Transit Agencies

Street harassment is a persistent, albeit largely underreported, phenomenon. It takes place in public spaces and transit environments such as transit vehicles, transit stops, and on the way to these (or other) destinations. It impacts certain transit riders disproportionately, leading to feelings of fear and lack of safety, and may decrease their mobility and transit use. Those mostly victimized by sexual harassment on transit are women, gender non-binary travelers, and transgender people, who are often reluctant or unaware of how to report it. Studies find that the fear of sexual harassment also leads some groups of riders, to avoid using transit, only use it under specific circumstances (e.g., during the daytime, only if accompanied, etc.), or experience feelings of fear and stress, while in transit environments (Ding et al. 2020).

Principal Investigator: 
Asha W. Agrawal
PI Contact Information: 


San Jose State University

January 2023 to December 2023
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

This study will directly contribute to the goal of greater safety in transit environments by helping materialize the mandate of recent state legislative efforts to address street harassment in transit, as expressed in Senate Bill 1161. The study will translate prior research of the investigators into an easy-to-use tool for transit operators wishing to collect information about the extent, location, and characteristics of sexual harassment in their systems. We will review other existing tools which we have created (or helped create) for previous studies and will compile appropriate survey instruments for transit agencies wishing to collect and analyze on-board and intercept surveys about sexual harassment. If this could be done before Friday, that would be great.

Project Number: 



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SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: mineta-institute@sjsu.edu