“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” is the slogan for International Women’s Day 2019. The cornerstone of this year’s theme predominantly focuses on innovation that would concern the advancement of gender equality, fundamentally leading to women empowerment. The modules that have been signifised particularly include social protection system, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
Similar development can already be noticed in Bangladesh when we consider Shuttle, an initiative that was launched in July 2018. Already known to and used by many, it is an exclusive pick and drop transportation service for women, which was co-founded by Reyasat Chowdhury, CEO, Jawwad Jahangir, COO and Shah Sufian Mahmud Chowdhury, CTO of the company.
Shuttle currently serves more than 7000 women between the age of 18 to 45, which mostly includes the college or university going students and women who work. The sole intention behind the inception of Shuttle was to redefine and modernise the commuting method for our women, by offering an affordable, safe and comfortable alternative to public transports. At present, they serve their clients using 11-seater, air-conditioned microbuses which operate in six routes -- Dhanmondi to Bashundhara, Mirpur to Bashundhara, Mirpur-Mohammadpur to Gulshan 1, Mohammadpur to Bashundhara, Uttara to Bashundhara, and Dhanmondi to Rampura. Shuttle tries to introduce new routes every month.
They want to ensure that no woman in Bangladesh should worry about transportation safety anymore and also make sure that our women have the freedom to commute whenever and wherever they want. Shuttle wants to motivate women engagement drive that we witness today, all around us and ensure that women of our nation can act up to their potentials without stalling. Being a conservative yet developing nation, struggles to provide proper public transports for women still exist.
Shuttle provides trip managers for every ride, in order to ensure the utmost passenger safety and satisfaction. The sense of safety is the reason behind its success. The service has taken enormous steps, trying to serve the women population and they plan on expanding their routes to cover the entire capital in the near future, and steadily expand nationwide.
Shuttle firmly believes that their initiative has further motivated women to actively pursue their dreams and tackle their daily hurdles by using the service as their portal to success. Five years down the line, they want to ensure a full-fledged service where every woman, regardless of their location, will have no trouble to commute to their desired destination.