06 November 2018
Bhubaneswar: A bus driver or a conductor always invokes the image of a man in one’s mind. But, the newly-inaugurated ‘Mo Bus’ service has ensured that this perception is wiped out from the public’s thoughts. With the aim to recruit around 50 per cent of female crew, ‘Mo Bus’ is the first gender-balanced service of the State that employs smart technology, service benchmarking and customer satisfaction.
Flagging off the much-awaited service by Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gladly announced, “This bus service will have 50 per cent women crew who are passenger-friendly.”
He went on to congratulate the citizens for availing such a safe, economical and smart alternative of public transport. He took the ride of the first ‘Mo Bus’ and like every other common man he travelled to his workplace- The State Legislative Assembly.
The ‘Mo Bus’ with a fleet of 125 new buses will come with many safety features like in-vehicle CCTV cameras for safety of passengers by keeping an eye on the conduct of the staff, adequate seats for women and senior citizens and deployment of women conductors. Very soon, 75 more buses will be added to the fleet and the crew will likely have 50 percent of women conductors.
However, Dipti Mahapatro, an official of CRUT said, “We prefer to address the conductors as ‘bus guides’ and the drivers as ‘bus captains’. It makes them feel more empowered and in-charge. The woman bus guides are definitely a great step as they are more approachable and have more patience in dealing with passengers.”
As the bus fare shall be collected through electronic ticket machines (ETMs) only, the women have been given the basic training. “Currently, we have around 30-40 women bus guides but we aim to cross the 100 mark and make the women force at least 50 per cent of the entire crew. This will happen slowly as we are still in the first stage of recruitment.”
In the age of male-dominated world, this deliberate step by the Odisha Government comes as a welcome change and can tweak how we look at the World.