PESHAWAR: The pink service started by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government for women commuters in Mardan and Abbottabad districts has been shut down and the buses were brought back to Peshawar.
The service was started in 2018 with the support of the Japanese government that donated 14 pink buses, in early 2018, of which seven buses were provided to Mardan and seven to Abbottabad.
However, due to lack of interest, the service couldn’t materialised into success as in both cities the private contractors have stopped to operate the buses and re-tenders were issued more than 5 times, but no interest was shown by any contractors.
Last year, the tender was finally issued and an agreement was reached with private companies on April 4 in Mardan, while on May 1 in Abbottabad.
A total of 15 bus stops were built in Abbottabad and more than a dozen bus stops in Mardan, but in less than a year, the service was shut down.
According to sources, one of the reasons for the failure of the service was that in both cities men were not allowed to ride in buses reserved for women only, due to which most of the women could not travel with their brothers, husbands, sons or fathers and had to use other modes of transport.
As a result, the service has not been successful in both the districts and the contractors were going in loss.
The officials of Trans Peshawar, however, claimed that the one-year contract with private companies have been completed and new contracts will be signed in both districts. The officials added that since the service is closed due to the coronavirus Pandemic, therefore, buses have been shifted to Peshawar for maintenance to stop deterioration to the vehicles.