PETALING JAYA: A systematic programme to address weaknesses in public transport facilities is in the pipeline to create a gender-responsive ecosystem, says Anthony Loke.
The Transport Minister said many women had expressed worries when using public transport, not only during the ride but also their journey to and from the stations.
“Poorly lit and uneven sidewalks leading to bus stops and train stations are part of the problem.
“These are some pain points that public transport users, women in particular, feel strongly about,” he said in his speech at the Women’s Safety in Transit and Transport Industry symposium here yesterday.
Loke said the issue was also discussed by a Cabinet committee dealing with traffic congestion.
“If we talk about traffic jams and for people to take public transport, these are the issues we have to address.
“It’s not only about infrastructure but the whole ecosystem, not just the discounts but the safety in going to the stations,” he added.
He said that at the latest meeting, the committee agreed to pay more attention to such issues.
“The committee has asked the Local Government Development Ministry to source for funds and integrate them together with local councils in Selangor and the Klang Valley.
“Every local council has to identify the bus stations and sidewalks that need upgrades immediately.“We can expect at least 100 new or improved bus stations and sidewalks leading to train stations,” he said.
On the women’s coaches introduced lately along the Kajang MRT Line, Loke noted that there were heavy criticisms against him from male passengers on this decision.
“I feel strongly that when something is right, I need to do it despite the criticisms.
“There will be no U-turn on the women’s coaches,” he said, adding that plans to include women’s coaches on other public transportation are under way.
Loke also said that 62% of regular public transport users were female, adding that two-thirds of passengers in the age group of between 21 and 30 were women.
On another matter, he said the ministry is equally committed to addressing safety concerns affecting women within the transportation sector.
“Women in leadership can influence policies that address not only passenger safety but also the well-being of female employees in traditionally male-dominated roles,” he said.
He added that diversity in the transportation workforce contributes to innovative safety solutions, with female engineers and designers promoting infrastructure that is safer for all.