India Institutes Ladies-Only Trains

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I have boundless interest in commuting in India, where an ungodly number of people jam into trains, commuters hang from the outside of trains, lots and lots of people die just trying to get to work, and the chief minister goes by the name of Sheila Dikshit.

So it was with great interest that I spied a Page 1 story in yesterday’s NY Times about Indian train cars dedicated to women commuters. Pinching, groping and teasing (hazing women is actually known as “Eve teasing” in India) is so bad that they set up a pilot program with dedicated women-only trains, known as “Ladies Specials”, in the four biggest cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta.  

The Times reports:

For many years, women traveling by train sat with men, until crowding and security concerns prompted the railroad to reserve two compartments per train for women. But with trains badly overcrowded, men would break into cars for women and claim seats. Mumbai started operating two women-only trains in 1992, yet the program was never expanded. Then, with complaints rising from female passengers, Mamata Banerjee, the new minister of railways, announced the eight new Ladies Specials trains.

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