Pink Bus instant hit among Karachi women

Operator says service to be expanded, routes added

Our Correspondent February 05, 2023
SAFE RIDE: The women-only Pink Bus fleet is parked at Frere Hall during the inauguration ceremony while women enjoy a free ride on the first day of the service. PHOTO: AGENCIES/EXPRESS


The women's only bus service, rolled out earlier this week by the Sindh government, has become an instant his among commuters, particularly in the first week in which the service can be availed for free.

For college student Hina Rind, the service which started from February 1 has been a godsend. She says her parents were afraid to send her to college alone due to the increasing street crimes in the city. "But this bus has made commute to college safe and easy. Now, I will be able to travel without any fear," she said.

The project has been launched through the Sindh Mass Transit Authority at a cost of Rs12 billion.

With a seating capacity of 24 people and another 24 can stand in the spacious aisles. It has two seats for people with special needs. The staff is women while the company has plans to hire women drivers for the vehicle.

The bus, which takes passengers from Model Colony in Malir through Sharae Faisal to Tower, has multiple stops along the route, with the driver announcing each one.

The fare has been set at Rs50 while girls up to the age of five can travel for free. The tickets can be purchased through a mobile application or on the bus. Its movement can also be tracked through the app, with real-time updates of their arrival available to passengers.

Laiba, a resident of Model Colony, said that the service was extremely comfortable, convenient and efficient. "Now thousands of women will be able to commute to work easily and comfortably," she said.

The buses have been fitted with surveillance cameras to ensure passenger security.

Zahra, a resident of Malir, said that the mass transit Service would play an important role in empowering women. "Our society can prosper only when women can also work side by side with men and play a role in the development of the country," she said while calling for addition of more routes.

Abdul Shakur, who looks after the operations side of bus service, said that the more routes were planned and the operators were taking feedback from passengers' to improve the service.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2023.


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