Don’t feel comfortable using public transport after the recent spate of attacks on women? You are not alone.
A survey of 4,500 women between 16 and 40 years, conducted by a group of second-year students of St Xavier’s College, found that only 24% women felt public transport was safe at all times.
While 29% said using it was no longer women-friendly, 47% felt it was safe at some times.
The responses were collected in July and August.
The survey also highlighted the issue of women’s safety at railway stations and bus stops.
Only 23% of the respondents said they felt safe waiting at a bus stop or railway station when they were alone, while 33% said they weren’t comfortable.
Of those polled, 47.7% said they had faced some kind of sexual harassment on a bus or train.
“It is surprising that so many women have suffered and feel unsafe,” said Avkash Jadhav, the professor who guided the project. “It is time for the railways and buses to take care of such issues.”
What was surprising was that 58% of the women were not aware of the railway helpline number, and of these 32% did not know that such a number existed.
About 89% responded saying they would like to have more women’s special trains, with a similar number polling in favour of special buses for women during office hours.
The students’ group now plans to submit a copy of this report to the railway and bus authorities. It has also made suggestions, which include deploying more constables to patrol women’s compartments, publicising helpline numbers, ensuring that only licensed vendors enter train compartments and installing CCTV cameras inside the women’s compartments.