Bangalore: Pink coloured buses with a board stating 'Women's Special' were seen about two years ago in the city. However, today one cannot see them anymore. Though they were meant exclusively for women, male counterparts were also seen travelling in these buses on many occasions.
When City Express interacted with commuters, many voiced their opinions about these buses and the problems faced by women in general while travelling in Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses. The Women's Special buses were introduced over six to seven years ago. These not-so-frequent buses catered only to women during peak hours in the morning and evening.
Speaking about the problems faced, Suma Shankar, resident of Padmanabha Nagar said, "During the peak hours when we have to commute towards Vidhana Soudha, these ladies special buses were irregular as there were only one or two buses. If we missed this bus, we had to commute in the regular buses which are always overcrowded."
Most women commuters complained that men are a source of trouble while travelling to their respective destinations. Four seats on each side of the bus is reserved for women, senior citizens and the physically challenged people. Pavitra Venkatesh, a resident of Jayanagar 4th block said, "In the regular BMTC buses, some men occupy these seats reserved for ladies. When we demand them to leave the reserved seats, many pretend to be sleeping or ignore us. When the issue is taken up with the respective bus conductor, they mostly fail to take action. Hence, we used to opt for the women's special bus earlier, which we don't find anymore.”
However, Mallikarjunaiah RC, Chief Public Relation Officer of BMTC said that the Women's Special Buses cater to women commuters exclusively. He said, "There are around 22 buses in the city and it plies on routes like Vijaynagar, Shivajinagar, Magadi Road, RPC Layout, Padmanabha Nagar, Jayanagar 9th block."
With regards to problems that women undergo in buses, he added, "Women can always complain about their grievances to the bus conductors. Most of the times the problems are solved on the spot."