The Delhi government has launched a free ride scheme for women passengers aboard public buses on the festival of Bhai Dooj, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal terming it a “historic move” towards ensuring women’s safety and empowerment along with increasing their participation in the workforce.
The scheme came into effect following the notification of an amendment to the Delhi Transport Corporation (Free and Concessional Passes) Regulations 1985 to enable the issuance of “single journey free travel passes” to female passengers under the cluster scheme.
According to the scheme, bus conductors will now distribute pink tickets, valued at Rs 10, to women for free travel. After which, the government reimburse the amount based on the number of tickets issued. Women can also avail free rides in Noida-NCR, at the airport and for other special services. While free tickets are available to all women, the option to pay for the ticket still remains.
Each pink ticket carries an image of the Chief Minister and bears a message wishing for the progress of female commuters and their families.
According to reports, over 2.20 lakh female commuters were issued pink tickets to avail free rides aboard DTC buses in the first shift till 5 p.m.
In August, the Delhi Assembly approved a grant of Rs 140 crore to implement free bus rides for women. It also approved Rs 150 crore for a similar plan in the metro trains, however the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is yet to take this forward.