MANGALORE: In what is touted as first of its kind initiative for Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), its Mangalore division is all set to introduce women’s special bus service to Kasargod from this coastal city from Monday on a experimental basis.
The special bus will depart from Kasargod at 8am and reach Mangalore at 9.30am. On its return journey, it will leave Mangalore at 6.05pm and reach Kasargod at 7.30pm.
Formulated by the divisional authorities with a view to remaining step ahead of competition, the women’s special has been targeted at commuters from across the border in Kasargod who have to reach their work places in Mangalore. The division which is planning to augment its schedules in order to reach out to more commuters has taken the lead to introduce this service by bringing on board an all women clientele and test the ground for such services.
N G Sreenivas, divisional traffic officer, told STOI that the women’s special will have clear demarcating feature with a board indicating that it is for women only. If this service clicks, the division also has plans to go in for a distinct colour to the special service, Sreenivas said, adding that it is also not averse to deploying a lady conductor on this trip. “As of now, it will have an all male crew for it is difficult to deploy lady conductors for two trips,” he said.
However, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation on Independence Day in 2006 had given a gift to women commuters of Bangalore in the form of specially designed ‘women special’ buses. They were introduced for comfortable journey of women in the city in August 2006.
Sreenivas said barring BMTC, the Mangalore division of KSRTC could be the first division to start an exclusive bus service on a select route for women.
Incidentally, the city is no stranger to women’s special vehicles in that Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators Association has unsuccessfully tried out this experiment. The then Governor late V S Rama Devi had inaugurated the women’s special that ran on four routes that included the State Bank to Ullal, Talapady, Konaje and Bondel during morning and evening peak hours. However, the lack of patronage from women forced the association to drop this service later on.