Opportunities and Threats
Edited by Nikolas Thomopoulos, Mosche Givoni and Piet Rietveld
Chapter 5: Spatiotemporal dynamics in public transport personal security perceptions: digital evidence from Mexico City’s periphery
This chapter demonstrates the potential for smartphone-based technology to improve our abilities to diagnose urban mobility problems in a megacity context, focusing on the personal security perceptions of public transport users in Mexico City. We use a purpose-developed Android application to examine whether private sector-developed intermodal stations (CETRAMs) influence minibus (colectivo) users’ self-reported perceptions of personal security. Not only do we show the viability of this specific ICT approach as an urban transport diagnostic tool, we also provide some initial evidence about the role of CETRAMs. The analysis reveals no direct relationship between the CETRAMs and colectivo users’ sense of security; passengers on vehicles in proximity to CETRAMs report higher personal security levels, but those positive context relationships are similar to those associated with a range of other contexts where the on-board surveys were conducted. Younger passengers report higher levels of personal security, while the well-educated do not. Unsurprisingly, female respondents report lower levels of security, and female-specific effects are also detected for trip, context and security perception-related variables. While illuminating the promise of the smartphone as a tool that can readily bring high spatial and temporal resolution to urban system diagnostics, the results should still be viewed as preliminary.
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