Delhi government’s free bus ride scheme for women rolled out Tuesday and by 4 pm, over 2.2 lakh women constituted approximately 32% of the total ridership till then on DTC and cluster buses.
Under the scheme, women will not have to pay anything to travel on 5,589 buses that run on the city’s roads. The cost of travel will be reimbursed to bus operators, with the Delhi government paying them a fixed fare of Rs 10 per commuter.
Pointing to lack of opportunities for women, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Structural inequalities inherent to our society come in the way of equal opportunities to women. Out of Delhi’s total work force, only 11% are women. Out of all the people taking Metro and buses, only 30% are women… The Opposition says Kejriwal is making everything free, but I believe parties should rise beyond narrow partisan interests.”
The government proposed the scheme in June and had also made free travel for women on Delhi Metro part of the proposal. But that is yet to be implemented since the Centre is still to notify a new Fare Fixation Committee.