Free ride for women: DTC gears up for challenges
New Delhi: With public transport buses set to become free for women travellers, Delhi government and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) are gearing up to arrange the smooth implementation of the initiative.
From October 29, women travelling in buses of DTC and cluster scheme operated by Delhi Integrated MultiModal Transit System (DIMTS) will be provided pink passes for free travel, while the government will reimburse DTC Rs 10 for each pass issued.
“Women will be issued a single journey pass and all arrangements are being made for printing these passes,” state transport minister Kailash Gahlot said. He said apart from its distinct colour, the single journey passes will also carry some social message from the Delhi government. “More marshals are also being deployed in buses,” he added.
The total ridership of DTC and cluster scheme buses is 42 lakh every day and according to DTC officials, 30% of these constitute women. However, the number of women is likely to increase as DTC expects many women to switch from other modes of transport such as grameen sewa, phat phat sewa etc. to buses for free travel.
“We expect that about 10 lakh single journey passes would be needed every day but we would know the exact number only after a few days of implementation of the free ride scheme,” an official said. “The final design of the single journey passes are yet to be decided but these pink passes will have no value printed on them and only a serial number. The passes will clearly mention that these are meant for ladies only. The printing of the passes will start after a few days and we have not yet decided how many would be printed in the first lot,” he added.
Delhi government will also deploy more marshals to ensure women’s safety in buses. “The directorate of home guards has promised to provide us with 5,500 personnel and that will solve our problem to a great extent, otherwise we will have to get civil defence volunteers to fill up all posts of bus marshals,” said a government official. The government has also decided to rope in ex-servicemen, who will be deployed on the buses along with the home guards and civil defence volunteers.
A ‘ bus marshal cell’ has also been recently created in DTC, which will look after the functioning of the security personnel in both the state-run buses as well as those operating under the cluster scheme.
From Oct 29, women travelling in buses of DTC and cluster scheme operated by Delhi Integrated MultiModal Transit System will be provided pink passes for free travel, while the government will reimburse DTC 10 for each pass issued