Pinks’ wheels may fall off | Pakistan Today

Pinks’ wheels may fall off

There are some major hurdles in the way of Pink Bus Service, raising the question whether the bus service for women will ever successfully get out of the pilot project stage, as the response received by the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) did not come up to the expectations of the Punjab government.
Though, the pilot project has been launched, the initiative faces numerous problems other than the CNG shortage. The LTC officials claim that the response to the Pink Bus Service is not up to the mark so far.
The bus service is currently on pilot project to carry out a survey to ascertain the response of women in the metropolis.
It is pertinent to mention that a similar project service was started in Peshawar in 2009, which had to be shut down soon after launching due to financial restraints and a poor response from public.
At present, three pink buses have been defused in the public transport industry of Lahore, with an aim to gauge the response of citizens and to come up with a feasible financial plan for sustainability.
The first three pink buses have been introduced on three major routes, which stretch across the entire city. The buses have been included in Route No B1 from RA Bazaar to Sanda, B33 from the Railway Station to Green Town and B22 from Thokar Niaz Beg to Jallo Morr respectively.
The pilot project is expected to continue for 3 months. An official of the LTC, while requesting anonymity, said the biggest problem was the number of female passengers traveling alone and the finances needed to keep up with the service in case of a lesser demand.
“Firstly, women in our society do not prefer traveling alone; they are usually accompanied by a male or family, while men are not allowed on the travel on these buses,” he said.
He further added that the bus focused mainly on working women using public transport, but they were comparatively very less in number. “The finances certainly play a major role as the project is given to a private operator and it is implied that if the buses don’t make it to the projected commercial breakeven, there is a vivid chance that the bus service would head towards a withdrawal.”
LTC General Manager Enforcement Kamran told Pakistan Today that it was basically a cultural change that the LTC was enforcing on the city; hence, it was expected to take some time. He said opined that people had swayed away from public transport as the car leasing hijacked the entire city in the passed several years.
He said the LTC was trying to revive the culture of public transport by introducing new ideas to comfort the users, especially women.
“The new scheme has been appreciated and women have demanded to more buses mainly on the routes serving the college students during particular timings,” added Kamran. He said the demand was expected to increase as awareness spread in women around the city.

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