Pink Bus Service: Three women-only buses launched

Published: January 6, 2012
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LAHORE: 

A local bus company has launched a female-only bus service. Three pink buses with female collectors, but male drivers, ran on three routes at standard ticket prices on Thursday.

The buses are an effort to offer women harassment-free travel, said Muhammad Dastgir Baloch, chief operating officer of the First Bus Service, which is behind the Pink Bus Service. He said the buses would run from 6:30am to 7:30pm. One of the buses runs on CNG while two run on diesel.

The buses ran on Route 33 from the General Bus Stand (Lorry Adda) to Green Town, Route 22 from Jallo Mor to Thokar Niaz Baig, and Route 1 from RA Bazaar to Sanda. They charged passengers between Rs15 and Rs35, with students paying a flat rate of Rs10.

Baloch said that the three buses made three round trips on Thursday. The bus on Route 1 got 52 passengers. First Bus Service officials got off the bus at stops to inform female passengers about the exclusive service. “It was the first day so most people didn’t know about it,” he said.

He said that if successful, the company would expand the service. “We could dedicate 20 per cent of our buses for women,” he said.

Amna, a Punjab University student waiting at a bus stop, appreciated the move, saying young women had to daily fight off unwanted attention from men.

Ramsha Naeem, another student, also welcomed the service but said that three buses was far from enough. “I waited over 30 minutes but did not see a pink bus,” she said.

Nasir Mumtaz, assistant manager of the gender empowerment and social advocacy programme at the Kashf Foundation, welcomed the Punjab government initiative. He said the government should add more buses to the transport network and encourage the private sector participation in the sector.

He said the government should also train female drivers for the service.

The First Bus Service has over a hundred buses including 38 CNG buses.

The Pink Bus Service was inaugurated by PML-N MNA Hamza Shabaz at Club Chowk. He was accompanied by Advisor to the Chief Minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz.

Shahbaz, speaking to reporters at the inauguration ceremony, said that if the pilot project were successful, female-only buses would be launched on more routes in the city. He said that 550 more buses would be brought to Lahore in March.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Talal
    Jan 6, 2012 - 2:42AM

    WONDERFUL news!

    Recommend

  • Khan Saab
    Jan 6, 2012 - 3:29AM

    Sharif’s focus is political drama’s. 3 Buses for 10 million population. 6 Danish schools for 80 million and so on……..

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  • pakistani politics dont make sense to this woman
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Like this idea. I wish for a day when desi men start taking women as fellow human beings and there be no gender segregation for things like transportation. Wish pink bus success!

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  • sunil vohra
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:42AM

    I think the idea has been borrowed from the pink auto rickshaws plying in Gurgaon, India

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  • shazia khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 9:46AM

    great move by the sharifs.separate buses for women was a long standing demand of women.The punjab govt. has taken a great initiative,it’s time the other provincial govt’s learned from the pml-n and startaed such facility for their women population.

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  • sanaullah khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 10:12AM

    good initiative

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  • Hina aftab
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:16AM

    a pleasent surprise to see something good happening for women in pakistan.The PML-N must be congratulated for taking this fantastic step.women face harassment in the normal buses so this is a very good step making transportation easier and more secure for women.Good step by the punjab govt.

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  • Shahbaz
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:31AM

    @Khan Saab, why are you always pessimistic, at least appreciate where it is due.

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  • Sadia
    Jan 6, 2012 - 11:46AM

    @Khan Saab:
    Prejudice is such a bad thing that it keeps u from seeing good in anything.
    I myself am a PTI supporter but think that this is a good move and buses will increase if we appreciate by using them.

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  • Rashid Malik
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:03PM

    Great initiative. We wait until our nation reaches to a point where everyone can travel together fearlessly.

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  • APZ
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:46PM

    I’m finding it hard to understand why this is good for women? How about saying how WRONG the men are that they feel the need to harass women who are on their way to work, school or university? Can they not keep they eyes, hands and dirty minds off for even a short bus ride??!!

    While the short term result of helping women cope with these brash, brutish, mind you, ‘muslim’ men, by providing them segregated pink transport vehicles may alleviate their suffering, we are only endorsing harassment and therefore are a nation which is permitting men to continue to behave badly – by taking women out of the equation. I think these men need to be off-loaded, for good. I don’t think anyone was a fan of the South African apartheid, were you?

    Think, people. Think.

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  • Ebtesam Khalid
    Jan 6, 2012 - 1:27PM

    Is it a good thing or would enhance the already existing frustration among the two genders in Pakistan??

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  • Everlast
    Jan 6, 2012 - 2:51PM

    I find this highly offensive on the one hand we talk about men-women equality and on the other hand pushing the women against the wall.

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  • nmalik
    Jan 6, 2012 - 3:37PM

    great effort by punjab govt!

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  • Nationalist
    Jan 6, 2012 - 3:45PM

    good decision should be appreciated, not criticized, so please learn to give the devil his due.
    @ Everlast: men and women are not equal in any sense and please note difference in two people does not make one superior and other inferior so try to put things in right perspective and then find solutions (if required)

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  • From Tehran
    Jan 6, 2012 - 4:28PM

    Over here in Tehran they use one bus but entrance and exit for Men and women are separate…it works perfectly for family as well as for women travelling with male family members etcRecommend

  • Abdullah
    Jan 6, 2012 - 6:59PM

    Pinky in town ;)

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  • A. Khan
    Jan 6, 2012 - 7:59PM

    It would be much better if Pakistani men change their attitude towards women.

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  • Jan 6, 2012 - 8:43PM

    @A. Khan:
    Even Japan is considering it. So it is not a Pakistani phenomenon.

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  • ---
    Jan 7, 2012 - 10:21AM

    @sunil vohra:
    There is no harm in taking up a good, international idea and implementing it in a manner that benefits you locally!

    @Pink Bus… wish it all teh success! Could we have some in Karachi also?

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  • FJ
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:48PM

    I love this- got to travel in it once I visit my country!!!

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 12:13AM

    It’s great step by Punjab Government and must be appreciated. There is need for more women-exclusive venture e.g. women technical training institutes and quota in government services to give them economic independence leading to their empowerment.

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  • Saher agha
    Feb 1, 2012 - 10:18PM

    I m vry glad to see this pink bus…..n i want to travel in it…..hope punjaab government will bring a positive change in our country……may Allah bless them all….. :)Recommend

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