Women's Safety in Public Transport - A Pilot Initiative in Bhopal
EMBARQ India is helping the city of Bhopal improve accessibility and safety for women on its public transport system. The project is a part of the Government of UK, Department for International Development’s (DFID) support to Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP).
EMBARQ India collected data on commuters in Bhopal, which helped in identifying the gender differences in travel patterns, concerns and perceptions of public transport users. With this data, on-ground solutions were recommended, which could be considered by different stakeholders in the city, including Bhopal City Link Pvt. Limited (BCLL) - the agency that operates the city bus services, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation - the agency that owns and regulates public spaces, and the Bhopal Police Department - responsible for law and order in the city.
The project helps in mainstreaming the concerns of women travellers in public transport planning, operations, design and policy. This is a first of its kind project in India and sets a good precedent for other Indian cities interested in addressing the problem of women’s safety in public transport. The project focuses on public bus services as well as informal public transport services. Women commuters account for over 35 percent of the public transport users in Bhopal and will benefit from this project.