The special services were launched on March 19 in the Latur district of Maharashtra. On average, since the launch of the services, out of 20,000 commuters who opt for city bus services, about 11,000 are women of different age groups.
Latur City Commissioner Aman Mittal told TOI, “After fighting the pandemic together for two years, we seriously wanted to give passengers a reason to smile and so we came up with this service.”
The officer indicated that the money needed for these free services will be taken from the 5% budget reserved for the development of women and children.
Mittal said the idea of starting the free transport services for women is the brainchild of District Custodian Minister Amit Deshmukh, who is also the state’s Minister of Medical Education. It was first offered about six months ago.
Bus services operate on nine key routes in the city of Latur, which is also a junior college hub, attracting large numbers of students from across the state.
Earlier in a statement, Deshmukh said the services will address the concerns of parents, who have either remained busy or worried about picking up and dropping off their daughter from schools, colleges and coaching classes.
The Latur Municipal Corporation (LMC) bus service is currently operated by a private service provider, which has deployed 18 buses and pays Rs 2.5 per kilometer as a fee to the civic body.
Operator of the Year 2017 has signed an agreement with the LMC for a period of 11 years and each year there will be a 10% increase in royalties.
LMC City Bus Service Department Head Balaji Roopnar said that these buses travel a distance of about 3,500 km per day and with the latest initiative, more and more women are availing these buses. services.
Authorities argued that in accordance with the latest agreement, Latur’s civic body decided to pay for all tickets in return for free bus services for women.
“According to an estimate, it should cost around Rs one lakh per day to the treasury of the Latur civic body,” a senior official said.