As part of the Safe Public Transport Program, Ginigoada (UN Women NGO partner) has worked in collaboration with UN Women to provide safe transport options for women and girls in Port Moresby.
Starting yesterday, the women-only bus will not only guarantee a safe commute for women and girls, but also save time.
Having access to the timetable, women and girls will be better able to make decisions on the best travel options and plan their multiple trips across the city. This is particularly important for women and girls who have to plan their daily activities around their socially assigned triple roles: Productive, reproductive and community managing roles.
The project was designed in response to a scoping study which found that 97 percent of women and girls feel unsafe at the bus stops in the city. As such, project partners considered that an efficient bus timetable would help reduce the waiting time at bus stops and the most importantly, diminish the probability of sexual harassment.
The CEO for Ginigoada, Pastor Mike Field, expressed his delight: “Clearly we look forward to the day when there is no longer a need for a women-only bus, however until that time arrives, it is our hope and intention to continue to run theses buses as best as we can, to bring safe, dignified and timely service to women and girls who choose to ride on the bus.”
Lizzette Soria, UN Women Safe City Program specialist, stated further: “This is an important initiative, particularly for women and girls who most frequently suffer from time poverty. We expect that this safe and reliable service will unlock further women’s time and potential.”
The launch of the MeriSeif timetable is an important milestone for the city. Being the first bus service to have a fixed schedule in Port Moresby, the MeriSeif bus is raising up the standards for a safe, efficient and reliable transport service for all.
Since 2015, Ginigoada has operated four women-only buses providing safe transit to approx. 650 women and girls daily.