The new Lucknow Metro has an all-women operating team!
In a couple of days, the City of Nawabs is going to get its own metro. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate services on September 5. The Lucknow Metro will be the first to achieve a praiseworthy achievement: trains will be operated only by women. Twenty-one drivers have already been selected and trained. On inaugural day, two trains will run on the Transportnagar-Charbagh route.
Even the network's pilot run last December was managed by two women "to give more percievability to ladies drivers (sic)"- Pratibha Sharma and Prachi Sharma of Allahabad. Both joined LMRC as station controller-cum-prepare administrators. In fact, when the LMRC sought applications for train operator vacancies, as many as 3,827 came from women. According to the Lucknow branch, other metros employ only 3% women operators.
Media similarly lauded Kochi Metro's progressive move: it was the first government organization to hire transgenders. But within a week, eight of the 21 employees had quit: people weren't willing to rent them places, and those that did charged exorbitant rates. The LMRC has to ensure its move doesn't backfire too: safety and other necessary facilities have to be ensured for its women employees.
Initially, the four-coach trains will accommodate 1,100 passengers with a seating capacity for 200. In another first, it will calculate ticket price based on number of stations, not distance. Fare will range between Rs. 10-60. Children shorter than 90cm won't be charged. Smart Card will offer 10% discount on ticket price. There will be separate sections for women and the physically-challenged.