Bogota‘s TransMilenio bus system is extending its female-only carriage trial into peak hour services, local media reported Tuesday morning.
Bogota implemented the pilot program on its articulated bus system on March 7 in an effort to reduce the cases of violence against women, including sexual assault, while on public transport.
The secretary for Women’s Affairs, Martha Sanchez, told Colombia’s El Tiempo that the perceived safety of both women and men had increased on the particular route where the trial is being implemented, leading to the extension of the trial for another month.
FACT SHEET: Bogota’s TransMilenio
Incidents occur most commonly during peak hours on the fast transit network, that opened in 2000. Overcrowding incites all-too-common cases in which women are inappropriately touched, have a stranger expose their member to them and force them to touch it, or masturbate in front of them.
The amount of abuses so far this year has already rocketed up from 2013. While 109 people were arrested for harassment in 2013, giving an average of one arrest every three days, in 2014, it has been closer to one per day.
Men also figure among the victims of this ever-growing problem, though the overwhelming majority — 95%, according to police – are women.
Sanchez, said the female-only bus carriages were inspired by similar projects in Mexico, where pink buses and taxis are used to transport women safely at night.
In India’s capital, Delhi, female-only train carriages have been a common sight for many years – a result of repeated acts of bag snatching and male harassment. According to the BBC, the concept was so successful in India that the country have now started to run female-only trains on eight different routes.
In addition to the extended time frame for the female-only carriages in Bogota, the TransMilenio will also play host to a number of undercover policemen who will be able to prosecute people committing crimes of harassment.