Paris is instituting a number of new measures to fight sexual harassment against women on its various public transportation vehicles.
Beginning in February, 10 bus lines in Paris will allow riders to get off wherever they like at night — even if their requested stop isn’t part of the bus’s typical rout, The Local reported. This will allow passengers to be dropped off closer to their homes. The option will be available for both men and women.
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The measure was championed by the President of the greater Paris region of Île-de- France, Valérie Pécresse, who said Parisian women have specifically asked her for this option.
“The interest is to avoid these attacks that take place on the way home,” Pécresse said on Radio France, adding that if “the experiment is conclusive” and “does not become systematically stressful for the driver” that she’d like to see the new option available on all bus lines across Paris.
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The city is also hiring 650 additional safety monitors to ride different forms of public transportation in plain clothes, Pécresse said on the RTL radio network. And video surveillance equipment will be installed on all buses and train carriages by 2020.
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In France, a country that once considered outlawing catcalling, more than 220,000 women said they were sexually harassed on public transportation over the past two years, according to the French national crime statistics agency. And Pécresse said that she was sexually assaulted on public transit just last week.
“We cannot stand idly by while a woman is being attacked,” she said.
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