UBC Undergraduate Research

Perceptions and Experiences of Women When Choosing to Cycle as the Mode of Transportation Fong, Katherine; Kwan, Randall; Milne, Deegan; Wong, Emily; Wu, Caroline


Noted in previous studies and literature were barriers specific to women when it came to using a bike as a means of transportation. This paper attempted to identify what the most deterring barrier to cycling was for women at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Data was collected by using an online survey distributed to self-identified women who commuted to UBC Vancouver campus. All participants were required to give consent prior to the completion of the survey. The data was collected with the use of Qualtrics, a credible survey tool that stores data in a secure drive within Canada. The survey was promoted and distributed on social media sites such as Facebook and in-person to participants. Draw prizes were used as an incentive to recruit participants for the survey. In total, 175 respondents were included in the final data collection and analysis. To meet our criteria and be included in the analysis, participants had to self-identify as a woman and be a current student, staff, or faculty member. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, in-person recruitment of staff and faculty members was interrupted and cut-short. In total, 87% of participants were students, 11% were staff, and 2% were faculty members. Barriers and perceptions to cycling were identified by determining the most common response for each question. The most notable barrier that deterred women from cycling to UBC was distance (43%). This barrier was also identified by previous studies. It is recognized that this barrier will not be one that can be easily solved. The second most observed barrier was safety. To increase the feeling of safety, we recommended that physical barriers be built along the designated bike routes for all major roads connecting UBC and the city of Vancouver as a means to separate cyclists from motor vehicles. Another notable finding was that 45% of participants do not have access to a bike. To this, we recommended implementations of bike rentals or collaborate with a company that can create bike share programs that span distances beyond campus. Amongst the women surveyed, 85% believed cycling was more prevalent among men. Also, we asked whether or not respondents knew of the bike storage facilities available on campus, to which 56% of respondents were able to identify at least one. To which recommendations were made for UBC to implement more cycling initiatives for women and to promote bike facilities available on campus. Further studies should be done to understand the effects and opinions of implementing physical barriers to designated bike routes, barriers and perceptions of cycling for women staff and faculty members, and the magnitude of distance being a barrier to using cycling as a means to travel to and from UBC. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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