Mobility is undergoing important changes towards more sustainable ways of commuting. The pedestrianization of streets, the increase in kilometers of cycle lanes, the expansion of bus and train services, improvements in cycling infrastructures… are most visible elements of this change.
However, there are other changes that may not be as noticeable but are equally important. One is the increase in female bus drivers.
According to data provided by CONFEBUS, the number of new female bus drivers has increased by 90% in the last 5 years. Furthermore, according to 2019 data, 27.2% of bus drivers were women.
These data help make Spain one of the countries with the best average percentage of female drivers according to the Driver Shortage Survey, which analyzes the percentage of female drivers employed in road passenger transport companies. As data, the EU average in 2020 was 12%, the Spanish one was 18%.
However, these data are still insufficient and highlight the gender gap that still exists in the transport sector. Wage gaps, lack of adequate sanitary facilities and toilet breaks, unequal treatment or negligence in maintaining a safe work environment are some of the factors that can pressure the increase in women employed in the transport sector Fortunately, there are more and more who highlight the positive aspects over the possible determining factors.
The increased presence of female drivers in public transport is also a factor that can improve the safety perception of women and other vulnerable groups commuting by bus or train.