In Rennes, only two lines were concerned. Tested on the C1 and the 57, the on-demand stopping system will be extended to other lines of the public transport network of the Breton capital. The Star wanted to offer this possibility to travelers traveling on lines C3, C5 from 10 p.m. every night on weekdays. Descent on demand will also be possible on three metropolitan lines (50, 62 and 61) from midnight on Friday and Saturday evening on the network managed by Keolis. This device is supposed to limit the risk of attacks or harassment on board buses and is aimed in particular at women, too often victims of these acts.
Launched in January when the use of public transport was at half mast, this “anti-sluggish” service has not been a dazzling success. “But the demand is there. The drivers have been trained and they are able to adapt. We must encourage it, ”assures Matthieu Theurier. The vice-president of Rennes Métropole responsible for transport had presented this novelty as “a tool for equality between women and men”.
On demand, but not anywhere
In fact, anyone traveling alone can request to get off between two stops. They just have to ask the bus driver. The latter “remains the judge of the feasibility or not of your request and must ensure that all the conditions are met for a safe shutdown”, specifies the Star. Only people in wheelchairs are not eligible, due to the lack of suitable facilities outside the stops.
The descent system on demand has often been encouraged by feminist associations. In 2019, the Dare feminism association launched a major campaign baptized “Wagon without assholes”. The investigation carried out on this occasion had delivered a startling observation. Among the 2,300 respondents, only 1.1% had never been victims of violence in public transport. And 69% of them had suffered at least once, a sexual assault of the “hand to the buttocks” or “rubbing” type. More than half denounced having been the victim of acts of sexual exhibition such as masturbation in public.
In an attempt to reduce these acts of aggression, the association calls for better training of on-board personnel and insists on the need for witnesses to intervene. According to their survey, only 15% of victims were helped by a witness. “In 88% of these cases, it helped the victim,” says Dare feminism.