The Ladies Special, a bus service exclusively for women, has made a comeback in Delhi after being off-road for almost a decade.
Launched on 11 routes, Ladies Special buses will connect important commercial and residential areas across the city. DTC officials said there had been a demand from women for special buses for quite some time.
"Metro's women coaches run crowded all the time. This shows that if they have an option, women prefer travelling in exclusive buses and feel safe," a DTC official said.Interestingly, the public transport corporation had created separate space inside its old buses by installing iron grilles to make women feel safe in the 1980s. The L-Special became popular with college and office-going women in the 1990s. The DTC, however, withdrew the service when the number of buses in its fleet started decreasing after the year 2002.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit said the special buses allow women commuters safe and comfortable travel. "The number of buses under this special service would be increased in accordance with the requirement of commuters in due course of time." She hoped the service would be patronised at large. The buses would initially run during the morning and evening peak hours.
Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami said one bus each had been deployed on 11 routes initially. To make women feel safer, women conductors have been deployed in these buses.
"We are making efforts to make people aware about the new service, its routes and their timings. Officials have been told to run according to the time-table," Goswami said.