Public transport is space of insecurity and fear for many people. While the objective crime rates and incidents in European Public Transport are very low and it is a very safe space, the subjective feeling of security differs vastly from this. Many people (especially women and older people) are afraid of using public transport for the fear of becoming a subject of transgressions. This hinders a widespread adoption of the use of public transport use for whole strata of society. This is a major barrier for the transition away from personal car ownership to an interconnected service-oriented mode of mobility in Smart Cities of the future.
A major issue with subjective feelings of security and risk in public transport is the feeling to be alone – either completely or among strangers who do not care and will not help. This feeling is corroborated by the fact, that people in our sprawling international cities have less personal contacts to their co-citizens and often avoid seeking direct communication to strangers. As this – speaking to others and asking for help—is the main recommendation made by security authorities on how to behave in such situations, this a areal issue. At the same time, people are more comfortable to deal with communication online, via their smartphone.
Here our suggested new product will make the difference. In DoNotFear we will develop an App which allows transport users to (a) report fear inducing situations and places, (b) report about other passengers in difficult situations or need, (c) become member of the community of solidary users, (d) find out, if there are other in the wagon etc. who would stand up in a critical situation, (e) ring an alarm.
This will open up a different channel for solidarity and social behaviors to emerge without having to personally interact with people before I know they will help.
Christoph Henseler, Prof. Hans-Liudger Dienel, Martin Schlecht
1.1.-31.1.2019 (mit Verlängerungsoption)