Women’s Safety in Public Transport is one of the key challenges across the globe. The authorities are taking various measures to make Public Transport safe and comfortable for women. It is very important to understand the travel needs of men and women are very different. In developing countries, lots of women forced to remain at home owing to lack of safe transportation option. Women are more likely to travel shorter distances and to stop more frequently than men during their journey.
According to study conducted by Thomas Reuters Foundation in 2014, it has ranked Delhi at 4th position for most dangerous transport system for women. The poll was conducted in 15 of the world's largest capitals and in New York, the most populous city in the United States.
After an unfortunate rape incident in December 2011, Government of India setup Nirbhaya Fund to make public transport safe with INR 10 billion (USD 165 million). However, the fund is still being unutilised.
Transport operators in India are taking various measures to make public transport safe, including:
1. Installation of CCTV Cameras and Live GPS Tracking
2. Reserving First Coach for ladies in Delhi Metro
3. Operating special Ladies Buses and dedicated cab fleet (She Taxi)
4. Creation of Safety Apps (Himmat – Delhi Police)
5. Separated sections for women in the buses and reserved seats
When we generally talk about Women Safety in Public Transport, we just concentrate on providing safety inside the vehicles. It is important to ensure the safety of women from origin to destination, rather than just covering one part of the trip. This requires:
- Safe and accessible First and Last Mile Connectivity
- Safe Passengers Facilities – Bus stops / Interchange
- Safe Boarding and Alighting
- Safety inside the vehicle
The government has to create confidence in women so they could fearlessly travel in public transport and para-transit. Government of India is also discussing with Mobile Handsets manufacturers to install panic buttons in mobile phone to generate alerts in the distress.
UITP is working on lots of initiatives to make public transport safe and equitable for all. UITP is working with International Transport Worker’s Federation (ITF) to tackle violence on Public Transport. Both the organizations are committed to uphold the basic right of transport workers and transport passengers to live, work and travel in safety, free from assault or the threat of assault and all other forms of behaviour that may compromise their security and safety.