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Free public transport for women in Delhi (Delhi metro & DTC)! Women empowerment or is it?

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Government of Delhi has proposed to offer free travel to women in DTC buses and Delhi metro, there have been lot of people who have supported this proposal and many have criticized the same likewise.

What happened to free WI-FI and CCTV cameras which were promised in 2015?

While it is good that Kejriwal led ''Aam Aadmi Party" has thought about women finally at the fag end of their government's tenure but there are a lot of questions which they ideally should address, which are as follows:

  1. Why free travel for only ladies? Are we still stereotyping women that they do not have the paying capacity? Is this the Delhi government's idea of equality? My understanding says that equality is giving equal and unbiased opportunities.

  2. Is the timing a mere coincidence? After badly losing all 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and between the General & State Elections? Is it only to gain political mileage? Arvind Kejriwal became the chief minister in June 2015 (current term) there is exactly 1 year left before the next Delhi legislative election.

  3. Safety & Security? As per Delhi Metro Website there are 1409 pending cases of various nature including theft & assault since 1st January 2019 till 24th April 2019 which remain unsolved. The free travel proposal will motivate more females to travel everyday by metro, is there enough security to handle the extra footfall that too with considerably lesser revenue?

  4. Coming to revenue, who will pay for the free tickets/travel? With whose permission is the tax payer's hard earned money is being spent to buy votes for the Delhi Government? This Free scheme will cost Delhi around INR 700 crores per year which will increase every year.

  5. How will you screen people who are coming to metro stations only for free air conditioners? We all have seen people sleeping inside ATM's when Delhi heat strikes in absence of security guards!

  6. Do you know the current state of DTC buses? Are they reliable? Would you use them? What has been done in the last 5 years to improve the public transportation in Delhi?

  7. Does free = comfort & safety? Around 28 lakh daily commuters use Delhi metro everyday, we have seen how crowded and ill managed are some busy stations like Rajeev chowk/CP, Kashmere Gate and many others. Many females I know prefer private car/cabs to metro because they consider it unsafe and the fear of stampedes. Making public transport free will further worsen this problem.

  8. Delhi metro has been expanding ever since it was launched and even though it shows an operating profit, there is a huge debt to recover and to keep further construction in full swing, how will this affect the overall scenario?

  9. The free travel would not lessen the number of cars on roads of Delhi; The working women want reliability, safety and comfort to change their mode of commute. Free is certainly not the answer.

Let us believe that the intention behind this free-culture is good, what the next step? Allowing women to travel free in cabs? Free food in restaurants? Free mobile connections? Is this empowering or making them dependent on the government?Atishi (AAP) & Delhi government says it will reimburse the loss to DMRC, but where will that money come from?

There are above questions & many others which remain unanswered, in Wander Womaniya's opinion this would do more harm than good. The Aam Aadmi Party certainly ignored logic in the desperate quest to ensure they do not face the same debacle that they saw recently in the General elections 2019. Only if the intention was right, sigh!

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation.”

― Gustavo Petro

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