Saritha, who had previously worked as a private chauffeur, came to bus driving as a means to earn money for herself and her family, and to help combat dangers that face female passengers on public transport in the Indian capital. On Delhi’s overcrowded buses, passengers often hang from the sides of the moving vehicle in order to reach their destination, and the challenges for drivers abound.
By comparison in Australia, air-conditioned fleets of buses travel from destination to destination without all the pushing and shoving that is the norm in Delhi. One similarity, however, is the marginal number of female drivers in public transport systems.
But why doesn’t Australia have more female bus drivers? Is it the image of chest hair, short shorts and long socks that has come to be the bus driver stereotype? Or is it the prevailing idea that men are better with heavy machinery such as big trucks and buses?
Interestingly enough, one of Sydney’s bus companies actually stated that women make better bus drivers, moving around anti-discrimination legislation to give female drivers preference over their male counterparts. In a report to the Daily Telegraph, Veolia Transport stated that women drivers were “gentler” on their buses and their passengers.
It’s not hard to see why bus companies want careful drivers: buses can often cost several hundred thousand dollars for operators to purchase and run, and keeping repair costs at a minimum is essential. With new and modern fleets being rolled out across the country’s public transport system, it’s about time we helped some more modern attitudes in the profession.
There will be no reason that one gender should be a significantly more capable driver under our training program. We will give the same treatment and training regardless of gender- no question. Start paving the road to fairer attitudes and get your medium rigid bus licence with Yugo!