Exclusive Report: Pink Buses Inauguration Ceremony held at Frere hall

June 3, 2023


Exclusive Report: Pink Buses Inauguration Ceremony held at Frere hall

Shaeran Rufus

KARACHI: The Pink Bus Service, a recent public transport initiative launched by the Sindh Government, was inaugurated at Frere Hall on Wednesday. These Pink Buses, first female-oriented buses will operate in Karachi from today.

The inauguration was attended by government officials and guests including Sharjeel Memon, Saeed Ghani, Sharmila Farooqui, Marvi Mazhar, Zubair Ahmed Channa, the Managing Director of Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA), and others.

Related Stories: Pink Bus Service For Women To Operate From February

Moreover, the ceremony was accompanied by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Madeha Naqvi, Ushna Shah, Abdullah Sultan, Rabia Anum, Marvi Rashdi and Huma Amir Shah and Marvi Rashdi.

Female guests including Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Rabia Anum, Ushna Shah, Madeha Naqvi, Marvi Mazhar, and Sharmila Faruqui praised the PPP government’s initiative, which they believe will reduce the public harassment women face. They congratulated Karachi residents, especially women, for being able to travel more freely and safely with this new initiative.”

Free for 7 days

At the inauguration of the Pink Bus Service, Sindh Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon announced that the bus will be free of charge for the first seven days. He stated that the Pink Bus is an initiative inspired by the vision of Benazir Bhutto, who was a visionary and brave leader who established the first women’s bank, first women’s station, and initiated the BB Income Support program.

Memon emphasized that if women are strong, then homes are strong, and the purpose of this initiative is to empower women to travel freely and on equal footing with men. He also noted that the service will be expanded to include more routes and additional buses in Sindh Province.

Upcoming Project

The Transport Minister said, that the upcoming project – BRT Yellow line is undergoing.

Buses are from Public’s taxes

Saeed Ghani, Provincial Minister of Sindh for Labour, stated that girls often feel uncomfortable while traveling on other buses, but the Pink Bus Service will give them confidence. He also urged passengers to take care of the buses, reminding public that “these buses are funded by the public’s taxes, not from Sharjeel or Ghani’s money”.

Transport Card System

In an interview, the Managing Director (SMTA), Zubair Ahmed Channa, announced that the government is looking forward to initiating a ‘transport card system’ similar to what is used abroad for all public buses.

Related Stories: Pink Taxi: Sindh Govt to Launch Women-Only Transport in Karachi

Channa said that the first electric Pink Taxi project is underway and the government is actively seeking investors. He highlighted the exclusiveness of the idea, and said that the assessment process is ongoing.

Karachi Road Infrastructure

Karachi being a metropolitan hub, faces numerous obstacles, because of poor road infrastructure, that hinder transit projects. The MD, Channa stated that improvements to the road infrastructure are being made to accommodate bus routes. He acknowledged that work is being done to address the road conditions and improve the infrastructure.

Pink Bus Structure

The Pink Bus Service will initially operate on route R1, starting from Tank Chowk in Malir passing via routes: Model Colony, airport, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Metropole, Sindh High Court, Governor House, I.I. Chundrigar Road, and eventually Tower (final destination).

The 9-meter bus has 24 seats, with 2 reserved for special persons, allowing a total of 50 women to travel. The buses are equipped with surveillance CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi, and mobile charging ports.

A female conductor will be on board, and plans are in place to eventually replace male drivers with female drivers, Transport Minister said. The buses will depart every 20 minutes between 7 AM and 11 AM, and 5 PM and 8 PM.

Along with the BRT Orange Line, People’s Bus Service, Electric Bus Service, and Pink Bus Service are among the mass transit projects initiated by the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Related Stories: First Electric Buses Officially Launch in Karachi from Today

Public Opinion

For the first time female college/university students will benefit the most from this service. As women face problems while traveling and they are aware of these issues, says a female attendant.

Further, she stated that the government should tackle these problems despite the high inflation in the country, initiatives like this will make life more tolerable.

A working woman expressed her gratitude, saying “Thank God, there won’t be any men on these buses, it will be comfortable.” She added that there should be more such buses designed.

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