The public transport system in Colombia’s capital Bogota is the most dangerous in the world, according to a survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 16 of the world’s largest cities.
More than 6,000 women were asked six questions relating to how safe they felt traveling alone at night; the risk of being verbally harassed by men; the risk of being groped or subjected to other forms of physical harassment; trust that other passengers would assist a woman being physically or verbally abused; and trust in authorities to investigate reports of sexual harassment or violence.
According to the poll in 15 capital cities and New York City, Bogota scored disastrously on almost all fronts.
World’s most dangerous public transport systems for women
Colombia’s capital of approximately 7 million has no metro or train system, but a mass transit bus system that is connected to several smaller bus lines.
“Buses aren’t safe. You can get your bag or cell phone stolen and be harassed. When the bus is so packed it’s easy for men to rub up against you and grope you,” Paula Reyes, a supermarket cashier in Bogota, explained.
“There’s a total lack of respect for women here,” she added.
Latin American cities in general didn’t perform well in the survey; According to Thomson Reuters, six out of 10 women have suffered harassment while using public transport to commute.
Safety at night
Bogota scored worst in regards to safety at night, followed by New Delhi and Mexico City.
Women in Mexico City and Delhi complained more about harassment in buses than their Colombian counterparts.
According to Thomson Reuters, only women in Mexico City suffer more physical harassment in public transport than women from Bogota.
Public response to abuse
Colombians’ response to abuse was not deemed good, but butter than the public’s response in Seoul, Moscow, London, Paris and Bangkok.
The response to abuse allegations in Bogota is inadequate. The only cities with a worse government response to abuse are Moscow and Kuala Lumpur.
Bad, bad, bad. Bogota ranks first in the general safety index followed by other Latin American cities Lima, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.