Women drivers brave the night

Women cab drivers ferry single women passengers from the airport to their homes. It’s a brand new job, and they like it

The airport pink taxi service was launched on January 7 at Kempegowda airport. It’s driven by women for women.

Single women can now hire women-driven cabs from the airport into the city. And the service is available 24/7.

Launched on January 7 at the Kempegowda International Airport, its objective is to strengthen the safety and security of women passengers. Ten cabs are now in the fleet.Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Bengaluru International Airport have tied up for the ‘pink cab’ service.

Kumar Pushkar, Managing Director, KSTDC, told Metrolife, “The idea is to provide a safe and secure mode of transport for women travellers from the airport. It, in turn, creates self-employment opportunities for women drivers.”

Metrolife spoke to women taxi drivers and found them enthusiastic about the job. They feel enough safety measures are in place for them not to fear driving at night. “I stand in front of the airport and usher solo women passengers to our pink taxis. Many people are not aware of this and must be directed,” says Kalyani Krishna.
 


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Charu, a driver, does eight rides on a shift. She is the sole breadwinner in her family. She hails from Tamil Nadu. She usually does night shifts, starting at 9 pm and working till 7 am. “We have to finish at least four rides per day. I do about eight,” she told Metrolife. She finds it empowering to be able to drive a cab. “This is not like other jobs… I can choose my working hours and be with family if the need arises,” she says

She has studied till 12th standard. She joined the taxi service out of her passion for driving. .She signed up for the taxi service with an experience of 5 years of driving.“I sometimes work in the mornings too,” she says. Go Pink, the country’s first cab service operated by women for women, is also associated with the initiative. Launched in 2015, Go Pink was the result of a group of Bangalore homemakers acting on their concern for women and senior citizens.

“We aim to serve female students, working professionals, and senior citizens. Our cabs come equipped with standard security features such as GPS, SOS button, and more,” says Anuradha, co-founder of Go Pink. Shree Vidya, another driver who has worked as a driver for three years, says her sister inspired her to take to driving.

“I was working at ‘Taxshe’ prior to this. My sister used to work at ‘Go Pink’ and told me about this airport pink taxi initiative, and our family is proud of us,” she says. Vani, who had no experience in driving, joined Go Pink four years ago. “They visited our girls’ hostel and gave us a talk about women driving cabs. This inspired me to join them,” she  says.

But her family worries. “They aren’t that supportive of me driving at night. But they are still happy about the work I am doing,” she says. Vani does five trips a day. This initiative also concentrates on increasing job opportunities for rural women.

Self-defence for drivers
What about the safety of women drivers who work all night? Their pink cabs come are equipped with self-defence options:

  • A pepper spray in their glove compartments.
  • Surakhsa police app pre-installed on the phone.
  • Go Pink and KSTDC train them in self-defence.
  • GPRS tracking and an SOS switch.

Other women-driven cab services

  • Angel: 82172 49510, 80954 04769
  • Taxshe: 88849 50088, 88849 60088
  • Womencabs.com- 99024 74455, 70229 78507

Jobs open
The service is looking fo rmore drivers. Women must have passed the 10th standard to qualify. Those from less privileged backgrounds are preferred.

How to apply

  • Go to the KSTDC website and submit your resume.
  • Talk to Go Pink cabs on 080 2312 1234. Their office is at 2670/A,11th Main, D Block, Rajaji Nagar.

No entry for men and younger folks
The service is meant primarily for single women passengers travelling from the airport to destinations within the city. They can take along elderly people, but not younger men and women.

Pink fares
The fare on pink taxis is Rs 21.50 a km from 6 am to 11.59 pm. The night fare is Rs 23.50 a km.

How to book
Riders can call KSTDC a day prior to the trip on 080 4466 4466. The taxis are now parked at the airport, and ferry the passengers to destinations inside the city. There is no pickup yet from home to the airport.

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