Priority carriages on Metro trains will only be available for women, minors and physically challenged people during rush hours, according to a draft amendment to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Civility Behavior Promotion Ordinance.
The Standing Committee of Shenzhen Municipal Congress unveiled the draft amendment on its official website www.szrd.gov.cn to seek public opinion.
Metro Group employees can dissuade adult male riders from using the priority carriages during rush hours, according to the draft.
Shenzhen Metro Group started piloting Priority Carriages for Women on lines 1, 3, 4 and 5 on June 26, 2017. The service was later expanded to lines 2, 7, 9 and 11. The first and last carriages of the Metro trains are designated as priority carriages for women.
The rule was practiced in Shenzhen and Guangzhou after a Guangdong Provincial political adviser, Su Zhongyang, proposed setting up such carriages to provide women a safer traveling experience.
The trial practice of women priority carriages is not legally binding. It is aimed at cultivating respect for women, further improving the civility of behavior in Shenzhen and providing a more comfortable riding experience for women, especially when trains are very crowded.
However, the practice triggered controversy among riders, as many questioned the usefulness of such carriages because many men were still using them. Many people questioned whether women priority carriages could guarantee female passengers priority in taking the Metro, and whether men would be punished or dissuaded if they entered the special carriages.
A netizen surnamed Zhang thought female priority carriages would help avoid unnecessary conflicts, especially during rush hours, and make the competition for space more fair while encouraging people to respect ladies, because women are in fact usually physically weaker than men. However, another netizen thought the implementation of such carriages reflects sexual discrimination, and providing privileges for women actually highlights inequality rather than respect for women.
The public can send suggesitons to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 23 or call 88128384.