LAST week, we celebrated the achievements of women across the board in society and recognised their contributions economically and culturally.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, StarMetro looks at some of the safety aspects such as transportation, and efforts by the police that make the city safer for women.
Based on statistics derived from KTM Bhd, 60% of commuters on KTM Komuter are women and to add value to the service, a women’s coach was introduced in 2010.
Since its inception, 76 women’s coaches were introduced for the safety and comfort of female travellers.
KTM is in the midst of engaging with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to create an Act for the purpose of enforcement as the privileges accorded to women on board the women’s coaches is not protected by law.
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd encourages female passengers to use intercoms in the trains to inform its staff in case of emergency and issues of harassment.
Besides foot-patrolling auxiliary police, the company also engages with its Special Action Team to ensure passengers have a smooth ride.
StarMetro spoke to KTM and Prasarana on some of the initiatives taken to ensure female commuters are safe on board their trains.
KTM Bhd Commuter Services general manager Khair Johari Ishak said women’s coaches suited the demographic of passengers as 60% of commuters are women.
The coach is an alternative for women wanting the option to feel more comfortable while travelling, he said.
“Each six-coach train caters to 1,118 passengers and based on our findings 60% are women.
“It may be uncomfortable for some of our female commuters to share a cramped space with male passengers when our train is packed during rush hours. We do not separate the train seating by gender but we provide option with the availability of the women’s coach,” he said.
He said all trains were equipped with CCTVs and intercom systems for passengers to use in case of emergency including any form of harassment.
Khair said the women’s coach received mostly positive feedback and bagged two local awards – Best Innovation 2015 by Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and from Women, Family and Community Development Ministry in 2010 in conjunction with its “Say No and Violence Against Women” campaign in 2010.
He said carrying out enforcement in women’s coaches was a challenge because this was not governed by law.
However, from February this year, SPAD has come on board to carry out enforcement through its enforcement unit.
“We are working with SPAD to come up with an Act that gives us the right to remove passengers who are not supposed to be in certain coaches with more authority,” he said.
KTM welcomes public feedback through its Twitter account @KTMB.
Prasarana encourages its female passengers to do real-time reports via SMS or WhatsApp to 010-766 4472 for quick enforcement response.
The company has engaged with 1,185 Prasarana auxiliary police to patrol its train and bus stations and to be on board the trains around the clock.
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd Group Communications and Strategic Marketing head Lim Jin Aun said it was important to report while the accused was still on board the train, bus or at the station.
The availability of photo or video evidence can also be sent to the above-mentioned number or http://m.facebook.com/myrapid/
“Feedback received through our Facebook page and WhatsApp number are constantly monitored during operational hours.
“We can communicate faster with our auxiliary police to go to the spot of the complaint if complaints come fast,” he said.
There are over 6,000 CCTVs installed throughout the Kelana Jaya Line, Monorail, MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang and LRT Ampang Sri Petaling Line, he said.
Feeder buses under Prasarana’s purview are equipped with CCTV.
The feeder buses also bear details of the bus drivers at the bus entrance as part of Prasarana’s customer-friendly approach.
“In case anything happens inside the trains, stations or even the buses, we encourage female passengers to scream and shout for help.
“During rush hours, our Special Action Team comprising plain clothes auxiliary police are on board. They can also head to the intercom, press the red button and report the situation,” he said.
Lim added the Prasarana’s Facebook also has a large following and it is an effective complaints platform.