According to a study by WRI India, the travel patterns of women differ from that of men. Women tend to travel more during off peak hours and more often with dependents, stopping at multiple points on a single trip (i.e. trip-chaining). Our study sheds light on the fact that the data collected by public transport agencies is not gender disaggregated in India. As women travel patterns are largely different, there is a need for options which are designed to make women’s safety a primary objective.
With reports of crimes against women increasing by each passing day and a lack of initiative from law enforcement authorities, a Chennai-based NGO, AWARE (Awareness for Wo+Men to Advocate their Rights and Equality) collaborated with Safetipin, the creators of a personal safety app, to conduct a 45-day-long survey on travel patterns among the residents of various neighbourhoods in Chennai.
Some of the notable findings from this study are as follows:
71% felt that women are at risk of being groped or subjected to other forms of harassment in public transport
52% reported that passengers will not assist a woman who is abused physically or verbally in public transport
66% reported that it is unsafe to take public transport after dusk
WRI India organised an Accelerator on Gender Inclusion in Mobility in Chennai on 16th and 17th November 2018, in partnership with Shell Foundation, Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL), Chennai Smart City Limited and Urban Design Collective. The primary objective of this programme was to promote discussions on innovative mobility solutions which incorporate women-centric travel patterns and address issues related to women’s commute. The accelerator, which includes Bikxie, M-Auto, sRide and Womencabs, aims to promote a holistic and sustainable mobility ecosystem of increased, integrated and seamless mobility options for women commuters.
About the Cohort:
Mohit Sharma, Founder & CEO, Bikxie
Divya Sharma, CIO & Co-Founder, Bikxie
Dennis Ching , Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Bikxie
Bikxie is a technology company with a social mission to address not only the last mile transport and logistics needs of customers and ventures, but also socio-economic issues such as improving the standard of living and welfare of the repressed sections of society. Through their bike taxi service, the company aims to solve challenges associated with last mile connectivity and is one of the few taxi service providers in the country to offer both male and female drivers on two wheelers.
Mansoor Ali Khan, Founder & CEO, M-Auto
M-Auto is the first largest fleet to employ women drivers for auto rickshaws. Its mobile app, M-Auto is an on-demand auto rickshaw app which provides transit in Chennai. Working with over 300 women drivers, the company promotes entrepreneurship and safer commute for women drivers in Chennai by training underprivileged and unemployed women to drive the autos. These services are available for women passengers only.
Lakshna Chadha Jha, Founder & CEO, sRide
sRide is a technology player for ridesharing services and offers both intra-city and inter-city rides. Based on social networks, the company encourages users to share the cost of travel, increases sustainable mobility and promotes a higher social connect among people. The company, through its app, focuses on easing traffic congestion and minimize pollution, as no incremental vehicle is added to meet commuter demand.
Major Shailendra Singh, Founder & CEO, Womencabs
Womencabs is an online platform which enables women to book cabs driven by women. It is one of the largest women driven cab service providers in the category of employee transport in India. Their services include Employee Transportation, Airport and Hotel Transfers, Chauffeur on Call and Chauffeur Placement Services. The company strives to provide unconventional job opportunities to underprivileged women and brings them to the mainstream as ‘’Mini Entrepreneurs’.
Through this accelerator, WRI India hopes to measure the impact of various mobility solutions from the perspective of accessibility, safety and employment in the mobility space, while working with the startups on their pilot deployment in the city. Next steps for the accelerator include piloting the solutions with different partners and conducting a study on current mobility trends and patterns in Chennai.
Stay tuned for updates on the bootcamp.