Chennai buses to turn pink for female passengers | Chennai News
Last July, the state Department of Transportation announced that women could travel for free on regular city buses. Since then, female ridership has increased on MTC buses.
From 40% before last year, the number of women traveling on city buses has risen to 60%, according to official data.
SS Transport Minister Sivasankar said, “Over the past year, over ₹132 crore has been benefited from this scheme and the state government has sanctioned about ₹1,600 crore as subsidies to various state transport enterprises including MTC , to effectively implement this program.”
Citing a recent study by National Planning Commissionthe minister told reporters last week that the scheme has helped every woman, traveling for work, save about ₹1,000 per month and use it for family expenses.
However, the welfare scheme is limited to ordinary category buses only. “Many ordinary buses don’t have stickers on the front windshield, or they are not readable. So often women end up boarding the express or luxury buses and end up paying for the tickets,” said S Pusthalathaa teacher from Ayanavaram.
To solve this problem, MTC is changing the color of ordinary buses to pink so that women can spot them from a distance and board them without any confusion.
As a trial, MTC will launch it on select routes next week and it will be rolled out to all other routes depending on the response, a senior MTC official said, requesting anonymity. Of the 3,300 bus services, almost half are ordinary services.
Another issue with the free women’s shuttle program was hesitancy from MTC drivers, who complained about losing their incentives (based on daily ticket collection) since the program’s launch.
When this topic came up during the Fourteenth Salary Review Talks, the TN Department of Transportation announced that its incentive amount would be doubled.
Furthermore, Minister Sivasankar in talks on Monday said the government had agreed to various demands from transport staff regarding special Covid pay of ₹300, promotion of 1,078 supervisors and increase in allowances, according to a official statement.