Guangzhou plans women-only subway cars at rush hour

Updated 2017-06-24 10:22:16 China Daily

Metro officials said that starting on Wednesday, the city will provide women-only subway cars.

There will be one such subway car for every train on Line 1, and it will be reserved for women during the rush hour, from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 5 pm to 7 pm on workdays, the subway operator said on Friday. During nonpeak times, men can also ride in those subway cars.

"We want to raise awareness about caring for and respecting women," Metro officials said in a statement. The company will seek public opinion after the trial period begins and make improvements as needed.

The women-only restriction is, however, not legally binding, the statement acknowledges, since there is no legal basis for differential treatment on the public transit system.

"Couples, friends and families may want to stay together, so in those cases, it is not suitable to force male passengers out of the carriages," an official with Guangzhou Metro said.

The city's subway operator made the decision following suggestions from political advisers. One of the advisers, Su Zhongyang, pointed out that many women complain about rush-hour traffic and say that women's generally smaller stature makes it all the more uncomfortable.

"Also, we want to stop any chance of women falling victim to harassment while riding the subway," Su said.

According to Guangzhou police, 74 sexual harassment cases have been filed involving the Guangzhou Metro since 2015.

"I support having a women-only car. At least there won't be any uncomfortable stares when I wear shorts," said a woman who gave her name as Liang.

Guangzhou has around 14 million people.

Xinhua

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