Lower middle-class women from rural background seem to have outsmarted their urban counterparts. For, a large number of them have come forward with suggestions and opinions about the functioning of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
Of the 38 suggestions received so far, 27 have come from the Jashodanagar BRTS bus stop. Only one letter praised the transport system while the rest were all complaints.
Taking cue from the city police, who had set up complaint boxes for women at several main roads, the Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL) started the Mahila Suchan Peti or suggestion boxes for women at BRTS bus stands from November 1 last year.
Regarding the suggestions received, AJL general manager Harshadray Solanki said of the 38 letters, 27 asked for direct bus service from RTO (Road Transport Office) to Naroda, five on thefts, two were related to the conduct of drivers and others and one each regarding the smart-card problems faced by students as well as intelligent traffic management system.
“The aim of the suggestion boxes is to ensure that women commuters feel safe while travelling by BRTS and even have a say in its operations,” said Solanki.
“Many women from Jashodanagar have suggested that direct bus service be started from RTO to Naroda as they have to change buses to reach their destinations. The suggestions also include complaints regarding overcrowding of buses, making it difficult for them to enter or travel,” he added.
The women also sought better management of buses so that passengers do not crowd near the exit or inside the vehicle creating problems for female passengers. Another important demand was protection from eve-teasing and theft inside the bus.
But have the suggestions been implemented? “While we have started a direct bus service from RTO to Naroda as suggested, we are working on issues related to security and drivers through training programmes,” Solanki pointed out.