Free bus travel scheme for women rolls out in Karnataka | How to apply

Women wait to board buses after the launch of Shakti Scheme, in Chikmagalur, Karnataka, Sunday, June 11, 2023. Photo: Manorama

Bengaluru: Women in Karnataka can travel for free in government buses in the state from Sunday with the rollout of the first of the five poll guarantees of the ruling Congress -- the 'Shakti' scheme.

This free travel service will benefit more than 41.8 lakh women passengers everyday and would cost the state exchequer Rs 4,051.56 crore annually, officials said.

The scheme was made available for all women, who are domiciled in Karnataka, from 1 pm on Sunday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the scheme, which will provide free rides for women and girl students of the state in government buses, from the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha, the seat of Karnataka legislature and secretariat here.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy were among others present at the event, where the logo of the Shakti scheme was unveiled, while Shakti Smart Cards were symbolically issued to five women.

As per the Chief Minister's directions, district incharge ministers launched the scheme in their respective districts across the state.

The government noted that this scheme would reduce the travel expenses of working women from poor and lower middle class, and as the savings can be used for household expenses, the initiative has brought smiles on women's faces.

How to apply

Women can apply for the Shakti Smart Card by registering on the 'Seva Sindhu' government portal to avail the benefit of the scheme.

Until smart cards are issued, free bus travel can be availed by producing a valid photo identity card issued by Government of India, Government of Karnataka or government-owned offices, and getting a 'zero value ticket'.

Who can avail benefits

According to officials, all women, including girl students, without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion caste, can avail the facility. Gender minorities are also included in the scheme.

Applicable to all state corporations

The free travel service can be availed in city transport, ordinary and express buses which accounts for 18,609 buses in all four state-owned Road Transport Corporations (KSRTC, BMTC, NWKRTC and KKRTC).

"Free travel for women" stickers have been put up on buses which are included in the scheme, officials said and added that it would not cover luxury and inter-state buses.

Karnataka bus
Women travel by a bus in Bengaluru, Sunday, June 11, 2023. Karnataka government Sunday launched 'Shakti Yojane' providing free bus travel for women across the state. Photo: PTI


If a passenger has to cross the state border while travelling from one district to another district of Karnataka in RTC buses, they won't be charged, but this exemption is limited up to 20 kilometres.

The government has asked the Road Transport Corporations to reserve 50 per cent of the seats on their buses for men.

Other guarantees to be rolled out

Other guarantees will also be implemented as per the timeline announced, he told reporters after the launch. 'Shakti' is the first to be rolled out among the five guarantees announced by the Congress ahead of the assembly elections.

The other four guarantees are -- 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduates and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders, both in the age group of 18-25 (Yuva Nidhi).

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.