In a praiseworthy move to facilitate the commute of women in the city, the Sindh government has announced starting the Pink Bus Service, which will exclusively be for female passengers, in Karachi on February 1.
The announcement to this effect was made at a meeting chaired by Sindh Information and Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon on Thursday. The meeting was attended by Sindh Transport Secretary Abdul Haleem Sheikh, Sindh Mass-Transit Authority (SMTA) Managing Director (MD) Zubair Channa, and Operations Manager of National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (People's Bus Service contractor) Abdul Shakoor.
The meeting was held at Memon’s residence as the minister is yet to fully resume official duties after surviving a heart attack in Hyderabad last Saturday. The women-only transportation service in Karachi would be an addition to the People’s Bus Service of the Sindh government already operational in the provincial capital and Hyderabad.
The transport minister said the Pink Bus Service in the city would especially facilitate woman workforce and female students. He added that the first route of pink buses would be from Model Colony to Merewether Tower via Sharea Faisal.
The pink buses would be available to female passengers after every 20 minutes during morning and evening rush hours. In the rest of the day, they will operate after every hour. Initially, six pink buses will become operational on the first route in the city. The SMTA also intends to hire women bus conductors for the bus service.
Memon also asked the relevant officials to launch the People’s Bus Service in Sukkur on January 29. He directed the SMTA to make sure that the bus service was operational on four more routes in Karachi.
He also asked the transport officials to survey all routes of the People’s Bus Service in Karachi to ensure that buses were available to the commuters at the desired frequency while roads in the city were also in excellent condition for their smooth operations.
Memon said the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stood committed to modernising the public transportation in all the major urban centres of the province.
A day earlier, Sindh Law Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who also acts as the spokesman for the provincial government, had claimed that for the first time, public transport services in Karachi were being modernised as that was part of the ruling PPP’s drive to uplift the public facilities provincial capital. He added that the people of Karachi voted in favour of the PPP in the latest local government polls after acknowledging such efforts of the Sindh government.