Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 11, Pages 132: Saudi Women and Vision 2030: Bridging the Gap?
Behavioral Sciences doi: 10.3390/bs11100132
(1) Background, Travel characteristics of Saudi women contrast significantly from those in the west. This is not only because they have different culture, attitudes and preferences but also until recently, Saudi women were not allowed to drive. In 2018, they were granted the right to drive. It has been anticipated that enabling women to drive will improve their mobility and employability. (2) Methods: This study presents a qualitative study into factors affecting Saudi women’s travel decisions “before” and “after” enabling women to drive in the Kingdom. Two six “before” and “after” focus groups have been carried out to investigate the decision-making process associated with Saudi women’s travel, available options of travel and perception of Saudi women towards private car driving. (3) Results: The results reveal that main travelling options for professional and high-income women is a private driver in the “before” scenario and a ride-share option with a family member. In the “after” scenario, high income professional women prefer “drive own car” option. Moreover, many of the participants indicated that it is likely that they might keep private drivers as well. (4) Conclusion. The results from this research indicate that there has been significant change in travel characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Saudi women since they were granted the right to drive. This is likely to have significant implications for decision and policy makers. Further research into potential impacts of the current situation on car ownership and use, impacts on public transport system, environmental impacts and sustainability is needed.
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