In a first, the Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation has shortlisted 19 women to drive state-run Pink Express buses. This bus service was launched in UP with an aim to provide a safe travel option for women, with only women staff on board. While conductors and support staff could be shortlisted easily, the authorities found it difficult to find certified women bus drivers. Now, however, women candidates have been shortlisted to undergo a 7-month long basic training, after which they will be driving these buses run by the Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation.
Pink Buses to soon have trained women drivers
Uttar Pradesh Roadways has undertaken this first of its kind venture under the Skill India Mission. According to the Principal of the UPSRTC Model Driving Training and Research Institute, "The 19 women who have been found eligible will undergo a seven-month basic training, after which they will serve a 17-month probation at depots as part of the advanced training module." All candidates fall between 18 to 34 years of age and have studied up to Class 8. Other requisites include at least 160 cm height and a learners' permit for light motor vehicles.
Shortlisted candidates to free of cost training
The training to drive buses will be provided at zero cost to these 19 shortlisted candidates and during the probation period, their food and lodging will also be covered by the state. After the completion of this 24-month programme, women drivers will get a license to drive heavy motor vehicles. "UPSRTC has 50 such pink buses that are driven by men as of now. Initially, the newly trained women will be asked to take over these buses. They will finally run the way they were meant to be, safer and by women," stated the Principal of the training school.
This training module has been constituted as a solution to the state's inability to provide 'only women' staff for the Pink Express bus. It will progress Uttar Pradesh's vision of setting up a means of safe travel for women. In addition to conductors and support staff, the buses will now be driven by trained women drivers, fulfilling the purpose of these Pink buses.