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Home / Delhi News / Kejriwal hops on to the freebie bus, says Delhi women are loving the free rides

Kejriwal hops on to the freebie bus, says Delhi women are loving the free rides

On the inaugural day, 4.77 lakh pink tickets were issued to women passengers out of a total of 13.65 lakh tickets, a DTC official told news agency ANI.

delhi Updated: Oct 30, 2019 16:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interacts with women passengers to get feedback about his government's free-ride scheme, in New Delhi, Wednesday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interacts with women passengers to get feedback about his government's free-ride scheme, in New Delhi, Wednesday.(PTI)

A day after his government launched free bus rides for women in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, boarded a bus to gauge the impact of the scheme, introduced months before Assembly polls are due in the city.

The chief minister said he was enthused by the feedback received from the women, who were not only enjoying the free rides, but also felt safe using public transport due to government’s move to deploy marshals.

“I boarded a few buses just now to get direct feedback from women. In addition to students, working women, women going for shopping, I also met a few who have to visit doc (doctor) regularly. They are also v (very) happy,” Kejriwal tweeted.

On the inaugural day, 4.77 lakh pink tickets were issued to women passengers out of a total of 13.65 lakh tickets, a DTC official told news agency ANI. The highest number of pink tickets -- 1.33 lakh -- were issued in the north zone of Delhi Transport Corporation and the lowest -- 1.03 lakh -- were issued in the east zone.

The AAP government has ordered printing of as many as 1.5 crore pink passes, each valuing Rs 10 and carrying a message on women empowerment. These pink tickets will be given to women free on some 3,700 DTC buses and 1,800 buses under the cluster scheme of the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).

A ride in a non-AC bus can cost between Rs 5 and Rs 15 while AC buses charge between Rs 10 and Rs 25. In the first year, the scheme is likely to cost the Delhi government Rs 350 crore.

In another tweet, Kejriwal said the bus marshals were creating a “sense of safety” among women passengers and “fear amongst eve-teasers”.

The Delhi government plans to have marshals on-board each of its 5,558 buses. About 10 per cent of the total civil defence volunteers are women.

Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party government had both “appealed to and challenged” other state governments to make bus rides free for women. AAP claimed such schemes will help in empowering women and their economic development.

While several women have welcomed the scheme, some others have questioned if it will be continued after the polls. The Opposition parties, namely the Congress and the BJP have suggested that the scheme could have been more effective if more buses had been added to the fleet. They have called it an “election stunt” and demanded that the scheme be extended to senior citizens and students.