Friday, October 23, 2009

RLYS BEAT BUSES AT WOOING WOMEN

RLYS BEAT BUSES AT WOOING WOMEN
While BMTC gradually cuts down the number of buses exclusively meant to transport women, South Western Railway introduces women-only coaches on three trains
SUCHITH KIDIYOOR


It was touted as one of the firsts by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). In 2006, brand new buses with feminine colours were introduced to ferry only women passengers. However, poor response to the initiative is forcing it to phase out this service.
Women always had a problem travelling in BMTC buses, the only mass transport option for Bangaloreans. Seats reserved for ladies were mainly occupied by men. Staff members and police used to take over the front door, meant to be the entry and exit point for female passengers. To give the fairer sex a hasslefree journey, BMTC had introduced buses exclusively for women on 12 routes. The buses generated good demand in peak hours. However, BMTC claims that the revenue was not up to its expectation and has started cutting down this service.
A BMTC official said, “The response was so poor that after sometime, they allowed senior citizens to use these buses. But, still the buses remained empty. Finally, we had to allow men to board the bus during off-peak hours. But, still the response was poor and gradually we had to decrease the services as we could not operate empty buses.”
BMTC managing director Syed Zameer Pasha said, “The reduction is in a phased manner. We operate more than 5,000 buses every day and every bus has 16 seats reserved for ladies. This may be the reason for poor response to women’s special.”
Nandita, a techie and a frequent traveller in BMTC buses, said, “It is true that BMTC cannot operate vacant buses. However, how can women wait only for specials when we do not know when the bus actually arrives as the number of buses only for women has been reduced.”
HOSPITAL SERVICE
REDUCED TO ONE
BMTC has cut down the number of mini buses earmarked to carry patients and their relatives to major hospitals in the city from three to one as this initiative did not get good response. However it has decided to continue with one bus mall service for the benefit of passengers.

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