Published Thursday, April 22, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Costa Rica - U.S. Foundation for Cooperation, CRUSA, in collaboration with the German Agency for Development and Cooperation, GIZ, built a bus stop taking into account security elements for women using public transport.
The bus stop is located in front of the municipality of Desamparados Canton in San José Province. Among the main security features to avoid sexual harassment and assaults are:
• Open spaces to allow more visibility.
• Individual seating.
• Solar battery lighting.
• Child only seats.
• Wheelchair zone.
• Braille information area for the blind.
According to Claus Kruse, representative for GIZ, the design of bus stops in the future will provide safety solutions for all people using public transport, with an emphasis on the prevention of sexual harassment.
"We also have prototype designs in different configurations, depending on the public space available for their construction. We hope that it can be built throughout the country to promote safer spaces for all people," said Kruse.
The bus stop was built by a private company, YUSO. The design took into account the opinions of more than 2,000 people surveyed, as well as the contributions of the institutions involved, said the Ministry of Transportation in its statement.
The Ministry published on its website several prototype designs of the improved bus stops, which can be downloaded by people, organizations or companies that want to build it in their communities or anywhere else.
Those interested in knowing the requirements to build safer bus stops in their communities can call the Ministry at (506) 2523-2000, from 7 am. at 3 p.m.
In March, CRUSA is leading the "Muevete Segura" ("Safe Travel") hackathon where projects to improve the safety of women in the use of public transport.
The open call ended on March 16 where the participants with the most innovative idea won a prize of $3,600, as well as support from specialists for the implementation of the proposal.
The event was 100% virtual. Teams offered solutions for the dangerous situations that women have experienced, especially when they travel alone on public transport. CRUSA is expected to announce the hackathon winners on [date].
According to GIZ research, more women in Costa Rica use public transportation, regardless of the reason for their travel, and have less access to private vehicles.
"In 2018, Plan International published a study on the number one threat to girls and young women in public transport in the world is sexual harassment, so it is key to provide suitable conditions to increase the use of transport public to that all people, especially the users who are most affected, can travel safely and on equal terms, ” said Kruse.
The Third National Survey on the Perception of Women's Human Rights carried out by the National Institute for Women in 2017 found that 63% of the women interviewed recognized that the street is one of the spaces where women are most attacked. Around 97% of the people interviewed said they agreed with punishing the sexual harassment of women on public transport and public areas.
The hackathon was organized by CRUSA, GIZ, the Women's Institute, and other organizations.
Are the bus stops in your community safe for women? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to email@example.com