TRANSIT took note of this article in which a disabled group proposes taxi services for women, run by women.
This newly proposed service is truly a sad comment on the perceptions of safety and security in Malaysian society, with KTM Komuter’s Koc Wanita and RapidKL’s recent Bas Wanita test showing us that there is a huge black hole in public perceptions of their safety & security when it comes to public transport.
But the proposal itself was interesting because we at TRANSIT were approached in 2009 by someone who had a proposal for a similar taxi service – who later told us that she was ignored by the CVLB Chairperson Halimah Sadique!
Friday January 14, 2011
PETALING JAYA: It is always a risk for a woman to take a taxi alone with a male driver, but for a blind woman, the stakes are even higher.
Norashikin (not her real name), 47, was taken on a terror ride a few months ago by a cab driver who told her: “I can take you anywhere, and do anything to you. You can’t even see me.”
Fortunately for her, she reached her destination safely. But not everyone is that lucky.
Many women, even those who are physically able, have been harassed, molested or even raped by taxi drivers in the past.
With this in mind, the Association of Women with Disabilities Malaysia is calling on the Government to set up a taxi service “by women, for women.”
“There is a great need for a taxi service dedicated to women,” said its president Bathmavathi Krishnan, adding that it would reduce the fear women faced in getting into a taxi alone, especially at night.
“Many of us who are physically disabled need help getting in and out of the cab, and it is preferable that we are handled by a female instead of a male driver,” she said.
Bathmavathi said there had been several cases where blind women who were harassed by taxi drivers could not make a police report because they could not provide the taxi’s licence plate number or even identify the driver.
“It is worse for us who are blind or wheelchair-bound as we will not be able to run if we are attacked,” she said, adding that such a service had been implemented in other countries.
“We hope the Government will take this seriously,” she said.
A society is judged by the way that it treats the weakest and most dependent of its members. By that standard our society is shameful.
What is worse is that the people in the government whose responsibility it is to make our lives better, have forgone that responsibility and are more interested in their own bottom line.
The proposal for a “Pink Taxi” service that we received some years back showed a great deal of thought and foresight – by a private entrepreneur who was interested in providing a service for women.
Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected.