The Sindh government on Wednesday rolled out the People’s Pink Bus Service, a transport service exclusively for the women of Karachi.
Women members of the Sindh Assembly including lawmakers Sharmila Farooqui, Syeda Marvi Rashdi, Sadia Javed as well prominent figures from civil society including filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, TV personalities Madiha Naqvi, Rabia Anam and Najia Mir, actor Ushna Shah, architect Marvi Mazhar and others inaugurated the bus service.
Initially, the service would take commuters from the Model Colony area in Malir via Shahrae Faisal to Tower.
Eight buses are currently plying this route with each bus having a seating capacity of 24.
Two seats are reserved for women with special needs.
There is also standing space for another 24 women to take the total of passengers that can travel in it at one time to 50.
The service will run every 20 minutes from 7am to 11am and from 4pm to 9pm.
These buses will run after every one hour during normal hours apart from office hours.
Women hostesses are part of the bus staff with women drivers to be appointed soon, said Sindh Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon while addressing the event.
“Women are driving heavy vehicles in Thar.
Our women are flying the F-16 aircrafts.
This is just a bus,” he said on women drivers.
He said that the National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC), the bus service contractor, had been instructed about the same and soon the entire staff of the pink bus service would comprise women.
“The pink bus service will provide free service till February 7,” he announced at the event.
Sindh Labour and Human Resources Minister Saeed Ghani urged women to ‘take care of the service as their own property as it had been set up using their tax money’.
Women legislators Sharmila Faooqui and Marvi Rashdi hailed the bus service Sharmila Farooqui as a milestone for the women of Karachi.
“Now women will be able to go to work without fear through the pink bus service,” Farooqui said.
Architect Marvi Mazhar noted that mass transit was a long-standing problem for the people of the metropolis.
“Congratulations to the people of Karachi, especially the women,” he said.
Others at the ceremony remarked that the women-only bus would protect women against harassment.