Thiruvananthapuram: After the success of its all-women cab network “She-Taxi,” the state-owned Gender Park in Kerala is now readying the “She-Bus,” driven and managed exclusively by women for women.
The immense success of the “She-Taxi,” touted as the country's first 24x7 women taxi network, had led the park, under the state Social Justice Department, to work out a new mode of women-friendly transport system for ordinary women.
The World Bank, which recently hailed the “She-Taxi” project as a good model of sustainable entrepreneurship, has offered support to the proposed all-women-bus project also.
Like the “She-Taxi,” “She-Bus” is also part of the government's plans to ensure safe journey for women amidst concerns over increasing atrocities against them, State Minister for Social Justice, M.K. Muneer, told PTI.
“We have launched “She-Taxi” as a safe travel option for one or a group of women. Its success and wide acceptance has given us confidence to think about another project which may appeal to more women in the society,” he said.
Gender Park CEO P.T.M. Sunish said the project would be implemented in metro cities in the initial phase.
“We are planning to launch “She-Bus” in Thiruvananthapuram for the first time. It will be rolled out in Kochi and Kozhikode in the next stages. The “She-Taxi” was also launched in a similar manner,” he added.
Under the plan, a set of air-conditioned low-floor buses, with women-friendly features, would be rolled out for service between selected points in the city.
Besides women, children can also travel in the vehicle, which would have a series of high-end features including wheelchair lifts.
“We are planning to explore the possibilities of pooling system for the operation of “She-Bus” which will ferry travelers between selected points in the city. The locations for service would be decided after examining the density of women passengers in various areas here,” he said.
Sunish said the fares would also be reasonable as ordinary women are the target group.
“Ticket rates will be minimum and reasonable. The commuters can travel several times in a day on the same ticket. Monthly ticket options are also under consideration,” he said.
Skilled women would be recruited and given training to be molded as drivers and conductors in the all-women buses.