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Women in the driving seat

One of Rangoon's two current bus drivers in action. (PHOTO: DVB)

At least 30 women are to be recruited to drive public buses in Rangoon.

“Female bus drivers are very common around the world, but not so much in Burma. We would like to reach international standards by employing more women,” said Ko Tayote Lay, the managing director of Power 11 Co, which contracts the No.21 line in the former capital.

He said that passengers in Rangoon, which has a population of over five million, have generally expressed their appreciation for female bus drivers and welcome seeing a woman behind the wheel.

“I have no concerns over women driving big buses,” he said. “Compared to men, women are less volatile and vulgar, and that is good for the passengers.”

Six months ago, YBS, the city’s public bus operator, recruited its first female bus driver, a 28-year-old. She was given a bus on the 21 line, which runs from Htantabin Township to Mawtin in the city center.

A second woman was recruited as a YBS driver earlier this month.

YBS says it will offer lessons to hopeful women who have no prior driving experience and pay a stipend of 200,000 kyat (US$150) per month to trainees.

Applications were being accepted as from 26 September.