9 August 2021

‘Her Way’ – An Active Travel Plan for women living in the ACTs south

Dr Marisa Paterson MLA is calling on women living in the ACTs south to rethink their travel patterns and behaviour by switching to public transport and more active modes of travel, including walking, bike riding and scooting.

Dr Paterson has commenced a campaign to support women in Canberra’s south, particularly in her electorate of Murrumbidgee, to rethink their travel routes and routines.

Dr Paterson said: “the construction of light rail is going to bring enormous benefit for people in Canberra’s south, helping prevent future traffic gridlock, cutting transport emissions for a cleaner environment, and providing more convenient and reliable transport options.

“But over the next few years these construction works will mean significant disruption for Canberrans travelling from the southside to the city centre. This will be particularly felt during weekday peak hours when more of us are moving around the region”.

Dr Paterson wants to explore the challenges, barriers, constraints, and opportunities, helping women who have an interest in transitioning away from private car use, but might be concerned about it, or don’t quite know where to start. She says that “women are well positioned to make changes to some of the journeys we undertake, to embrace a range of options that will benefit us – both during this immediate period of disruption and also for the longer-term lifestyle changes.

“Research suggests that women have different travel patterns and needs than men, including the need for trip-chaining (incorporating multiple purposes into a travel journey such as dropping kids off at school or doing groceries and other errands), and different levels of comfort and safety especially when walking, riding a bike or catching public transport”.

By rethinking travel options now, people living in Canberra’s south will be able to help relieve pressure and congestion for those who genuinely have no other option but to travel in a private vehicle, as well as exploring other options that are likely to improve their overall quality of life and wellbeing.

Dr Paterson knows this is a difficult physical and mental challenge, telling her electorate “I’m just like you. I recognise that the upcoming construction works for light rail will be very disruptive but I’m also positive about the long-term benefits this huge project will bring for our community. I want to ride a bike but I’m nervous about it, and not quite sure how to make it happen”.

Dr Paterson has today released a Discussion Paper to get the conversation started. You can find out more, and join the ‘Her Way’ campaign at: https://marisapaterson.com.au/news/campaigns/her-way/