India’s first regional rail, RAPIDX will have a dedicated women’s coach on every train to ensure safe and comfortable journey for lady commuters.
According to the NCRTC, the second coach in the direction to Meerut from Delhi will be reserved for women.
Moving in the direction to Meerut from Delhi, the second coach of the trainset which is just after the premium coach will be the women’s coach. Whereas while moving to Delhi from Meerut it will be the second last coach of the train — just before the premium coach.
Proper signage is being provided for identification of these women coaches at the platform level and on the train door openings. This reserved coach will have 72 seating capacity. Additional 10 seats are also reserved for women in other coaches of the train.
NCRTC, since its inception, has been working tirelessly to improve accessibility and ensure secure and smooth travel for women through RAPIDX.
The provision of a dedicated women’s coach is one such step in this direction. Apart from this, the provision of reserved seats has also been provided in other coaches on the train as well.
Keeping in mind the convenience of commuters travelling with young children, a provision for a diaper-changing station has also been made at every station integrated with other public transport modes.
In every RAPIDX train, a train attendant will also be deputed who will play an important role in acquainting the commuters with the facilities available in the train and ensuring their safe and secure commute. He/she will be stationed in the premium coach and will assist the commuters in need.
NCRTC wants to create an environment where women feel secure travelling in the public mode of transport, whether alone or with a companion.
To ensure this, CCTV cameras are being installed in and around the station premises for 24x7 monitoring and security personnel are being deployed to monitor various movements and to enhance safety.
Platform screen doors (PSD) at every station, dedicated space for wheelchairs/stretchers in the train and lifts at every station which can also accommodate stretchers are a few of the various measures taken by NCRTC for the security and comfort of commuters.
Well-lit pedestrian-friendly paths, lifts/escalators, seating areas and other commuter-centric amenities will further facilitate universal access at the stations.
To make the end-to-end journeys of commuters safe and reliable, well-lit dedicated station pick-up and drop areas have been created on the stations. In addition, NCRTC has tied up with third-party first/last providers for easy accessibility and door-to-door travel of commuters.
Safety has coloured most of the decisions for the people of this stretch of NCR. Combined with the lack of proper means of transportation, the people have been deprived of opportunities and amenities despite being a neighbouring urban node to National Capital.
Women especially have borne the brunt of this. The opening of these women-oriented facilities will bring significant advancements and opportunities, empowering women in numerous ways.
The RAPIDX is designed to cater to the diverse needs of all sections of society, including women. Safety and convenience are the biggest and most important concerns for women while travelling.
Hence, since its inception, NCRTC has focussed on RAPIDX to be a gender-inclusive public transport system. It is going to be a game-changer for women as it will empower them through improved access to employment, education, healthcare, and economic opportunities and will provide seamless and fast connectivity.
NCRTC is aiming to commission the entire 82-km long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut for the public by 2025. Before that, it will operationalise a 17-km long Priority Section between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot very soon including five stations.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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