After the success of its all-women cab network ‘She-Taxi’, the Gender Park in Kerala, a state-owned autonomous institution, is now getting ready to launch ‘She-Bus’, driven and managed exclusively by women for women.
The immense success of She-Taxi, touted as the country’s first 24×7 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 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 said.
“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 Dr PTM Sunish said the project is planned to be implemented in metro cities in the initial phase. “We are planning to launch She-Bus in capital city 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 said.
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 will 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 travellers 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 are also planned to be people friendly as the buses would charge only reasonable amount from passengers 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.