Pakistan to launch women-only taxi and bus services in Karachi

Pakistan is a highly patriarchal society, with cultural attitudes and social norms that are perpetuating a hostile environment for women. Some surveys are placing Pakistan among the most countries in the world for women.

The government has taken steps to improve women’s safety, such as legal reforms, increased police presence, awareness campaigns and women’s shelters. In an effort to improve women’s safety, the Sindh government announced last month it will introduce a women-only taxi service in Karachi. “The taxi service will be launched in two phases with a fleet of blue and pink taxis, respectively” said Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, adding: “The pink taxi will be reserved for women only.” The pink taxis will be driven by “lady captains” and will be equipped with “proper monitoring system including cameras, for safety of the passengers.”

On Thursday, the Sindh government announced it will launch a women-only bus service as well. “Transport department government of Sindh is going to start Pakistan’s First bus service only for the women and girls exclusively. Inshallah Pink buses will start their operation from 1st February in #Karachi,” said the minister.

There will initially be 10 pink busses that will run every 20 minutes during office hours, and once per hour outside these. The announcement came shortly after Karachi, the country’s most populous city, introduced Pakistan’s first electric bus service. The new fleet is environmentally friendly, as it is solar-powered, and while the modern ride will be comfortable, the fares are going to be low. “PPP’s Sindh government is always focused on development, progress and prosperity,” said Memon in a tweet.

Karachi’s security has improved in recent years, and some areas are considered safer for travelers. However, women in Karachi have reported incidents of harassment, and it is advised to take precautions to ensure personal safety, such as avoiding traveling alone at night, dressing modestly, and being aware of one’s surroundings.