The Safe Women App: Using Technology to ensure women’s safety in KP’s Urban Transit system

    The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology (KPIT) Board has relaunched mobile application ‘‘The Safe Women’’ for the commuters of Pink Bus service to ensure their travel safety. The Pink only women bus service is being initiated in Mardan and Abbottabad. Through this app, commuters can access the following features:

    Distress Signal – I’m in Trouble: Commuters can give an alert signal to family members in case of any alarming situation
    Share your location: Women and girls can share their live location with trusted ones
    Emergency Police Contact: Commuters can call on Police emergency number for instant help

    Through this app, travelers can also rate the safety level of the location and track the live location of buses.

    The safe commute has always been of concern for women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is a large number of working women and students using local transportation for their work travel on a daily basis. KPITB’s app is an example how Information Technology can play role in ensuring the safe transportation of women. However, the safe app idea must not be restricted to Pink Buses only, technology implication for women safety needs to be extended to other local transportation services as well.

    Pink buses are women-only service, women may face comparatively lesser safety and security issues using such facilities. Ensuring women security in the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project will be a real challenge to authorities considering that it massive public transportation and a non-segregated facility. The BRT Peshawar documents suggest that the project would establish universal access and safety features for women. It will, however, be a good idea to come up with a women safety smartphone application for BRT Peshawar. The taxi-hailing services like Careem and Uber can also be monitored and cross-checked for women safety through such apps.

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