CRUT’s Vision To Empower Women & Third Gender

Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) has proactively embarked on several unique initiatives on its bus fleet to provide one of the best public transport services to the citizens of Odisha.


Post-pandemic, the new normal resulted in an overall decline in the public transit ridership. The dominance of unorganised auto rickshaws (with overcrowding and lack of hygiene) for completing the last mile only persuades people further to go for a private vehicle. However, the CRUT team is committed to implementing its mission to redefine "The Way We Move" by providing mobility options to all residents that will support a more sustainable and healthier future for all. Taking this into consideration, CRUT and GIZ introduced Mo E-Ride in Bhubaneswar integrated with the city's primary bus-based transit service (Mo-Bus) and aiming to address a lack of integration of women and the third gender in the public transit sector. 


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The project intends to enable CRUT to enter the last mile connectivity micro-mobility sector to integrate all modes in a more controlled environment and retain their ridership. With over 36% of the city's population living in slums and a nearly 50% women population in Bhubaneswar, the marginalised communities need to be provided with adequate livelihood mechanisms to sustain in a world that has changed and needs an overhaul in the economy. Women's safety in public spaces is a pressing challenge that many cities around the world struggle with. 



The Aim


Empowering women and transgender to be the operators through microentrepreneurship models and drivers will raise the profile of public transit as a safer mode of travel and provide lucrative and respectable livelihood opportunity. Quantum Leap Studio (QLS) took this incredible journey with Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, GIZ India & Association for Rural Upliftment and National Allegiance (ARUNA) to launch the country's first women and transgender-driven fleet of electric rickshaws with the brand name “Mo E-Ride”. Mo E-Ride, an initiative by CRUT, aims at providing clean, eco-friendly, first and last-mile connectivity to the public through e-rickshaws. Mo E-Ride has been initiated as a pilot project with 50 e-rickshaws in the first phase. This falls under the Integrated Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities (SMART-SUT) to improve the planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport in selected Indian cities. 


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With the introduction of Mo E-Ride service, CRUT is committed to providing seamless, reliable and affordable feeder transportation services to the citizens of Bhubaneswar. Our team at QLS took on the challenge and gave everything we knew we had inside and we did not know we had inside us. We were involved in every aspect as transport planners, brand makers, strategic thinkers, trainers, actors, directors, writers, photographers, cinematographers, event planners, negotiators, and managers. 


This is one of those unique projects that has the power to change lives, push beyond comfort zones, rethink life perspectives, unleash creative energies, feel inspired and get validation on dreams can & do come true. 


The Challenges 


The Mo E-Ride fleet for women and transgender is a thoughtfully crafted solution that integrates various design elements to overcome specific challenges faced by this demographic.  


Safety Features: Incorporating robust safety features such as live GPS tracking, to ensure the security of passengers and our drivers.


Driver Training Programs: A holistic 2 Month training programs for drivers was created to sensitively address the needs and concerns of women and transgender drivers.


The various training modules included driving theory, traffic education, emergency handling, passenger management and gender sensitivity. 



 Digital Payment Systems: Integrating digital payment systems to enhance convenience and security, reducing the reliance on cash transactions and providing a transparent fare structure to prevent any discrepancies or potential exploitation.  


Community Engagement: Foster community engagement initiatives to understand the specific requirements and preferences of women and transgender riders.  



Feedback Mechanism: Establish feedback mechanisms to continuously improve the service based on user experiences. 


Emergency Response Systems: Integrate emergency response systems to quickly address any incidents or concerns raised by passengers.  


Cultural Sensitivity: Incorporate cultural sensitivity into the design, considering diverse cultural norms and practices that may impact the comfort of passengers, women and transgender community.


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