Pink Bus services have been launched in Lahore to provide harassment free travelling facility for women and girls. These buses have female collectors but male drivers. The Company has launched three pink buses that will run from 6:30 in the morning to 7:30 in the evening. Pink bus service is a pilot project with 2 CNG buses and one diesel bus. These buses have been launched for three major routes of the Lahore city: from Thokar Niaz Baig to Jallo Mor, from RA Bazaar to Saandha and from station to Green town.
Pink bus service was inaugurated by PML MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and his Advisor Begum Zakia Shahnawaz along with other party members at Club Chowk, Mall road. These pink buses are decent looking and have a comfortable interior as desired by women using public transport. Many narrow minded and orthodox religious families do not allow their girls to pursue higher studies or to work because they will have to use public transport. A number of harassment incidents have become the sole reason why many people stereo type public transport as an unsafe means of travelling for women. Usual mixed gender buses have a small portion in front that is reserved for women but this portion is small and is packed which makes the ride uncomfortable. Now that women have a separate transport facility they can enjoy comfortable trip to their destination. Conservative families will also allow their women to work or study and rest assure of their security.
Pink buses have standardized ticket rates ranging between Rs 15 to Rs 35 and Rs 10 for students. Pink bus service is an incredible effort by the government to facilitate female commuters and protect their rights. Three buses are not enough to accommodate all females and all routes which is why the number of buses and the routes will be increased subsequently.
Though a female only bus service provides more security to women and girls it may also become a problem. We see a number of desperate men of all ages standing outside schools and colleges looking for girls and annoying innocent women. These female only buses might even cause more problems for women by attracting these desperate men. Though we cannot change the narrow thinking of such men but traffic police and the law and order system can control such situations. Hence this bus service is a huge effort to promote a healthier and safer transport system in Lahore. This effort should be appreciated and supported so that the effort continues and we can see this female-only transport system flourishing.