The think-tank of the Delhi government, Dialogue & Development Commission, is collaborating with a research team from Harvard University and the World Bank to study the impact of free bus rides for women on their safety and mobility. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that bus scheme will be implemented from October 29.
The study aims to analyse mobility patterns and perceived safety before and after the policy’s launch, using several comparison groups of individuals less likely to be impacted by it. These groups will include both women and men who travel regularly but do not use buses.
The data will be collected from a sample of approximately 800 women living across the capital through an initial household baseline survey, as well as repeated telephone surveys, before and after the policy’s launch.
The data will include a travel diary and questions on observed and experienced incidents related to women’s safety in public transport. Additionally, the research team will also collect data on bus ridership separately on the basis of gender, through direct observation at selected bus stops throughout Delhi, both before and after the policy.
“The Delhi government was very concerned about the falling perception of women’s safety in the capital, as well as their low rates of participation in the workforce, both of which were a motivation behind bringing out this scheme,” said DDC vice-chairman Jasmine Shah.