350 women-only autos to soon roll out in Ghaziabad, Noida

Published on Aug 28, 2021 12:08 AM IST

The regional transport authority (RTA) has decided to rope in 350 pink autos and is in the process of finalising 20 points in Noida and eight such points in Ghaziabad from where these vehicles will ply exclusively for women commuters, said officials in the know of the matter

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HT Image
By, Ghaziabad:

The regional transport authority (RTA) has decided to rope in 350 pink autos and is in the process of finalising 20 points in Noida and eight such points in Ghaziabad from where these vehicles will ply exclusively for women commuters, said officials in the know of the matter.

The decision was taken at a meeting held late on Thursday night in Ghaziabad. The initiative has been taken on the directions of Surendra Singh, divisional commissioner (Meerut), who is also the chairperson of the RTA. He has directed the regional transport officer to chalk out modalities for issuing permits for the new set of pink autos.

“We have decided that for both the cities, we will rope in at least 350 pink autos and even more to cater to the needs of women commuters. The number of pink autos plying in Ghaziabad will be around 100-150 while 200-250 such vehicles will ply in Noida. We want to increase the number of pink autos as the number of women working night shifts and travelling alone has increased,” said regional transport officer Arun Kumar.

For the purpose of running the pink autos, officials said they are in the process of finalising 20 points in Noida, which include key areas such as the Sector-62 metro station, Atta Market and collectorate, from where the pink autos will be easily available.

“The eight points in Ghaziabad will also be finalised shortly. These points are areas where there are more women looking for transport options,” said Kumar.

“Women drivers may also apply for permits of pink autos. We have an option of tieing up with driving schools, where women drivers can get 25% off in training fee. The applicant should be a native of the respective district and their husband or father should not be holding any auto permit in their names. This is being done to provide employment opportunities and a source of livelihood to needy families,” said the regional transport officer emphasising that the permit seekers should be from lower income groups.

Officials said they are also trying to tie up with dealers, who will be willing to offer discounts on such autos if they get an order for a big consignment.

The pink autos were introduced way back in June 2015. Officials said currently, the twin cities of Noida and Ghaziabad together have about 250 pink autos.

While assessing the situation on the ground, HT found that not a single pink auto plied on any of the major roads in Ghaziabad, such as GT Road, Hapur Road, on Friday. Members of auto unions said currently, there are very few pink autos in Ghaziabad.

When asked about why there were this less number of autos plying in Ghaziabad, Dilshad Ahmad, a member of the Ghaziabad Autorickshaw Chalak Sangh, said, “ As per our estimates, there must be around 10-12 pink autos running in Ghaziabad. The main issue is the cost of travel. Most of the times, we get few women passengers and this increases our cost per trip. Generally, autos in Ghaziabad operate on a shared basis and this helps us to recover the cost per trip.”

“The other issue we face is frequent challans. Currently, the challan for all the autos put together in Ghaziabad is somewhere around 5 lakh. Moreover, in a couple of months, the city will get electric buses which will be affect our ridership. Due to these reasons, many of us are planning to leave this trade and switch to some other profession,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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