Indonesia scraps women-only trains

Indonesia’s state railway company has cancelled its women-only trains, after running the service for barely more than six months.

This file photo shows Indonesian women in an all-female carriage of a commuter train in Jakarta. Indonesia's state-run railway launched exclusive carriages for women to improve the safety of customers in 2010. It then unveiled whole women-only trains last year, but these services have now been cancelled, due to a lack of demand. (EPA Photo)

PT Kereta Api Indonesia launched seven brightly painted women-only trains in October 2012 as part of a plan to increase the safety of female passengers. 

The introduction of the trains was intended to address incidents of sexual harassment in mixed-gender commuter cars connecting Jakarta to areas outside the city, according to the Australian Associated Press.

But Eva Chairunnisa, spokeswoman for PT Kereta Api, said the trains had only been popular with women during rush hour, and not at other times of the day, despite the fact that all of their mixed-gender services are busy at all times.

“To increase capacity, we decided to convert the women-only trains into regular ones," Chairunnisa said. “The ladies' trains are full during rush hour, but regular trains are even more packed.”

She said the company planned to add 180 more cars to their trains this year, adding that women-only trains might be brought back if capacity allowed.

The company introduced women-only carriages to some train services in 2010, which will continue unaffected. Situated at the front and back of commuter trains, the special cars have pink seats.

Chronic overcrowding on Indonesian train services has resulted in many commuters choosing to ride on the rooftops of trains.

In an attempt to deter the practice, the railway company has tried spraying trains with special paint and suspending concrete balls above the train tracks, but people continue to risk electrocution or falling to their death by travelling on carriage rooftops.

Related search: Indonesia, train, women-only, PT Kereta Api Indonesia

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