Government’s Next Move After Successful Women’s Free Travel Scheme in Karnataka

Following the remarkable success and widespread appreciation of the Shakti scheme, which provides complimentary bus travel for women and transgender individuals across Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken the initiative to secure an additional fleet of 5,600 buses for the state’s road transport corporation.

In an exciting development, a budget allocation of Rs 500 crore has been confirmed for the acquisition of these new buses, expediting the procurement process. Since the inception of the Shakti Scheme, there has been a noticeable 15 percent surge in passenger numbers choosing to travel on State Road Transport Corporation buses.

Enhanced Service Offerings

During discussions, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah emphasized the importance of augmenting service offerings through the introduction of additional schedules and buses. The meeting also delved into topics such as revenue collection targets within the transport department and the financial management of road transport corporations.

Shakti Scheme 2023

The ‘Shakti’ scheme, a flagship initiative by the Karnataka government, extends the privilege of free travel on state-run buses to women and transgender individuals, reserving 50 percent of the seats for men. This commitment was originally outlined in the election manifesto of the ruling Congress party and has now materialized as one of the five core poll promises fulfilled by the state government since assuming power.

Shakti scheme Benefits

On June 11, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah officially inaugurated the ‘Shakti’ scheme, marking the launch of one of the state’s five key poll guarantees. This program extends complimentary travel in government buses to women residing in Karnataka. According to official estimates, this free travel service is expected to benefit over 41.8 lakh women passengers daily, incurring an annual cost of approximately Rs 4,051.56 crore for the state exchequer.

Shakti smart card

The Chief Minister, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, inaugurated the scheme at the Vidhan Sabha. During the event, the scheme’s logo was unveiled, and Shakti smart cards were symbolically presented to five women. This initiative is available to women residing in Karnataka and covers journeys within the state’s borders commencing from 1 pm onwards. It allows women and girl students in the state to travel freely on government buses, starting from the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha, the seat of Karnataka’s legislature and secretariat in the city.


The expansion of the Shakti Scheme, coupled with the acquisition of additional buses, is a testament to Karnataka’s commitment to enhancing public transportation services and promoting gender equality. This landmark initiative continues to make a positive impact on the lives of women and transgender individuals throughout the state.

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