Rawalpindi - The women-specific transport service `Tabeer’ will be closed permanently despite huge demand of women commuters for a separate facility to travel with comfort.

The pilot project was launched on February 17 last for three month and authorities concerned declared it successful. At that time the project was stopped for a month taking lame excuse of construction work at Benazir Bhutto Road and it was announced repeatedly by Rawalpindi Transport Authority high-ups that it would be restored after completion of pillar work at Benazir Bhutto Road for metro bus service.

The statements of Regional Transport Authority officials appeared in section of press again and again that the project remained successful and more vans would be deputed for convenience of womenfolk who have a long-standing demand of respectable transport service for them.

However, on contacting Secretary Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Awais Manzoor, who was confident to restore the bus service after completion of pillar work at Benazir Bhutto Road here on Sunday said the project was finally closed. He said women transport issues would be solved with the start of metro bus service in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in January next.

He further informed that the bus had a capacity of around 80 seats among which 35 per cent would be reserved for women only and according to plan, 25 buses would ply on the route so there would be no difficulty for passengers to reach their destinations.

Giving details of the fare for the metro bus service, the secretary RTA said it was expected to be same as fare in Lahore which was Rs 20 for each person.

Separate transport service for women has been a long-standing demand of females of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad who have to wait for hours at bus stops, especially in morning and evening when everyone is in hurry to reach his/her destination.

The two front seats reserved for women in public vans are not enough to cater to women needs as the decision had been taken three decades ago when the ratio of working women was quite low and only a few women stepped out of their home for any emergency or any severe issue.