Al­bany school bus ser­vices re­sumed suc­cess­fully un­der su­per­vi­sion of new op­er­a­tor Swan Tran­sit, which now runs the ser­vice in West­ern Aus­tralia

ABC (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Ventura Bus Lines is help­ing women and girls travel safely in Pa­pua New Guinea, with the do­na­tion of four buses for the Ginigoada Foun­da­tion’s women-only bus project.

Four buses have de­parted Mel­bourne bound for Port Moresby. They are be­ing do­nated by Ventura as part of the UN Women’s project to make Port Moresby a safer city for women and chil­dren.

In a 2014 study by UN Women, more than 90 per cent of women said they have been phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally as­saulted, threat­ened or robbed on pub­lic buses while trav­el­ling around Port Moresby.

The Meri Seif Bus ser­vice is one of the ini­tia­tives in­tro­duced in re­sponse to these findings. Funded by UN Women and op­er­ated by the Ginigoada Foun­da­tion, Port Moresby’s Meri Seif Buses are free and for women and chil­dren only.

Since its launch in 2015, more than 400 women and chil­dren have been us­ing the ser­vice daily.

Ginigoada Foun­da­tion man­ager pas­tor Mike Field says the de­mand for the ser­vice is grow­ing and, thanks to the do­na­tion of four Ventura buses, they will be able to help even more women and girls travel in a safe and dig­ni­fied man­ner.

“The de­mand for the Meri Seif bus pro­gram is big­ger than ever. Women and chil­dren queue up in hopes of get­ting on board. Ventura’s gen­er­ous do­na­tion of four buses will ad­dress the im­me­di­ate need of women and chil­dren liv­ing in Port Moresby who want and need to travel in safety,” he says.

Ventura’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Corn­wall says the com­pany is proud to con­trib­ute to the project.

“There is a star­tlingly high rate of vi­o­lence in Port Moresby keep­ing women home from work, and chil­dren home from school. Ev­ery­one should have the right to feel safe,” he says.

A team of Ventura’s driv­ers, led by Ventura’s fe­male am­bas­sador, Karen Fawns, drove the four do­nated buses from Mel­bourne to New­cas­tle, which were then shipped to Pa­pua New Guinea.

The buses will be branded in or­der to be recog­nised as a safe Meri Seif bus. They will re­place the se­cond-hand buses used in the pro­gram, one of which is com­pletely out of ser­vice and un­able to be re­paired.

UN Women Safe Cities Pro­gramme spe­cial­ist Lizzette So­ria says the Meri Seif Buses pro­gram is an in­te­gral so­lu­tion to get­ting women de­liv­ered safely to work and chil­dren to school.

“We are ex­tremely grate­ful to Ventura for sup­port­ing this project. It is a huge com­fort for women to know that ev­ery morn­ing and evening, that there is a space on the Meri Seif bus for them, a safe space where they don’t need to give a se­cond thought to be­ing ha­rassed, as­saulted, or worse.”

Above: Ventura driver and brand am­bas­sador Karen Fawns

Be­low: Bus backs with de­cal pro­mot­ing the project

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