Women can travel free of cost in Karachi’s pink buses for two months

Published April 23, 2024
PPP leader Faryal Talpur presents the driving licence to a woman driver of the Pink Bus Service on Monday.—Dawn
PPP leader Faryal Talpur presents the driving licence to a woman driver of the Pink Bus Service on Monday.—Dawn

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday launched two more routes of the women-only Pink Bus Service and announced that female passengers could avail the facility free of cost for a period of two months.

Of the two new routes, one would connect Powerhouse Chowrangi in North Karachi with Nasir Jump in Korangi and the other would ferry female passengers from Gulshan-e-Hadeed to Tower.

The initiative, launched under the Peoples Bus Service, would take the total routes of women-only service to five as three routes are already operating. With a fleet of total of 10 new buses, the Pink Bus Service is expected to serve thousands of women on the two busy routes.

During the launching ceremony organised by Sindh transport department at Frere Hall Karachi, chief of the Pakistan Peoples Party women’s division Faryal Talpur called the service a “gift from the Sindh government to women.”

“The provision of safe and comfortable travel is a valuable gift from the Sindh government to women. By offering such facilities and empowering women, we can foster development and prosperity in our society,” she said in her address.

Two new routes of women-only bus service launched

Ms Talpur urged the transport minister to introduce “at least” more economical and cheaper fares for the women passengers, if the bus service was unable offer free rides to them.

On her appeal, Sindh Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon announced two-month free travel for all women passengers on the new routes of the Pink Bus Service. Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab, his deputy Salman Abdullah Murad and Sindh minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah also attended the ceremony.

In his address, the transport minister said the fresh initiative was part of materialisation of the PPP’s manifesto which promised women empowerment.

“These new initiatives are actually the results of guidance of the leadership of the PPP particularly, Ms Talpur,” he said. “This initiative has garnered widespread appreciation globally, with international media commending the project by the Sindh government. The high-quality standards, affordable fares, and commitment to safety of the pink bus service have been praised worldwide,” he shared.

He said that the efforts were underway to train female drivers, conductors and the staff, ensuring efficient and effective service delivery and the Sindh government remained steadfast in its commitment to empower women.

In the ceremony, Ms Talpur presented licenses to 4 female drivers of the Pink Bus Service.

Launched in February 2023, the Pink Bus Service is now offering services on five routes, with one operating between Model Colony and II Chundrigar Road passing through Star Gate, Nata Khan Bridge, Drigh Road Station, PAF Base Faisal, Laal Kothi, Karsaz, Nursery, FTC, Regent Plaza, JPMC, Cant Station, Metropole, Regal Chowk and Aram Bagh.

The second route is run between Powerhouse Chowrangi, North Karachi and Indus Hospital, Korangi passing through Nagan Chowrangi, Shafiq Mor, Gulshan Chowrangi, Johar Mor, COD, Drigh Road, Shah Faisal Colony and Singer Chowrangi, Korangi No 5.

The third runs from Numaish Chowrangi to Sea View Beach and then Ibrahim Hyderi, passing through MA Jinnah Road, Zaibunnisa Street, Metropole, Teen Talwar, Do Talwar, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Dolmen Mall and McDonalds.

Published in Dawn, April 23nd, 2024

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