A comprehensive gender action plan was put in place for the project that includes various initiatives to ensure safer mode of travel for women.

July 16, 2018, Peshawar – TransPeshawar arranged an event here in Hayatabad to take feedback of women on prototype bus manufactured for Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), called as ZU Bus. The Peshawar BRT system are branded as ZU System. This 12-meter Zu bus has already been tested in China but additional testing is required as per the conditions of Peshawar.  TransPeshawar is inviting different focused group to get feedback on ZU Bus. TransPeshawar, in last month, has also invited Persons with disabilities for their feedback on ZU Bus.

“Peshawar BRT has a strong focus at increasing mobility of women in the region and we want to make sure that ZU buses become a reliable and safer means of transport for women of Peshawar.”, said Mr. Fayyaz Khan, Acting CEO, TransPeshawar, who is also GM planning and construction. “Women constitute around 50 % of Peshawar’s population and their feedback is critical to us”, he added.

A study was conducted in 2016 which shows that female contribute 15 % to the ridership of public transport in Peshawar, and 90 % of the women interviewed do not feel safe while travelling in public transport. To address this, a comprehensive gender action plan was put in place for the project that includes various initiatives to ensure safer mode of travel for women. Some of these include separate section for women in bus (as per cultural needs of the region), hiring of 15 % female staff for BRT operations, mobile app to record complaints, female security staff on stations and buses, awareness campaign, training to staff, and strict measures are in place in contracts for its implementation. TransPeshawar hopes that through gender action plan women share of ridership in public transport will increase from 15 % to 30 %.

Once BRT becomes operational, TransPeshawar also aims to launch a “Safe Travel Program” addressing issues of theft, bullying, and other security issues including all forms of harassment against women, elderly, children, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. With seats having priority for women, anti-harassment messages will be displayed all across the system including stations and buses. In addition, Peshawar BRT aims to hire at least 15 % female staff including service providers and operators staff for operation of Zu System. Moreover, entire staff which includes staff of service provider and operator will be sensitized by specialized training on gender and social inclusion.

The demo bus, in which women were given a round trip, is one of 12-meter-long 155 buses which will be running on the main corridor as well as the direct service(feeder) routes. A total of 220 buses will run on Peshawar ZU System. Out of these 220 buses, 155 are 12-meter-long buses while 65 buses are 18-meter-long. First of its kind, these buses are hybrid and can run on diesel as well as electric. These buses are environment friendly, wifi enabled and tend to reduce Carbon emission.