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Capacity Building Initiative for Women Drivers in Quito: Empowering Sustainable Mobility through driving license acquisition and job creation opportunities

Course Description

The SOLUTIONSplus project recently concluded a capacity building activity aimed at women drivers in Quito, facilitated in collaboration with the National Transit Agency of Ecuador (ANT) and EcoVial. This initiative aimed to empower women by equipping them with the necessary skills and qualifications to obtain professional driver’s licenses. Specifically, the program supported 5 women to obtain a Type C license for passenger vehicles and 12 women to acquire a Type E license for vehicles used in the courier sector. To support this endeavor, UEMI partnered with Empresa Pública Metropolitana de Transporte de Pasajeros Quito (EPMTPQ), which manages the largest public transportation system in Ecuador. EPMTPQ aims to increase women's participation in the transport sector by 5% through targeted actions, facilitated with support from UEMI.

The SOLUTIONSplus project co-developed innovative and integrated e-mobility solutions for urban passenger and freight transport in participatory Living Labs across various cities, including Quito. This project provided tools and knowledge on low-carbon urban logistics, light electric vehicles (LEV), charging infrastructure, batteries, and e-buses. These resources were incorporated into the SOLUTIONSplus online toolbox and shared with the city, addressing the knowledge gaps identified during the project.

The project facilitated regional training programs and workshops, where key topics such as low-carbon urban logistics, LEV regulations, charging infrastructure, and e-buses were discussed. The project also initiated several demonstration activities in Quito, including seed funding for start-ups like ECargoBikeUIO, Sidertech, and Grupo Miral, which focused on local design and assembly of various LEVs for logistics and passenger transport.

The manufacturing and testing of 10 e-cargo bikes were finalized based on user feedback, leading to significant efficiency gains and emission reductions during the first pilot phase of the multimodal e-mobility hub in the Historic Center of Quito. Additionally, the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app, developed through SOLUTIONSplus, was piloted with students to streamline journey planning and ticketing for public transportation.

About EcoVial

EcoVial, authorized by the ANT since 2013, was selected as the training school for this program due to its comprehensive curriculum and alignment with the project’s timeline. The school’s facilities and training modules met the standards necessary for the professional development of the participants.

About EPMTPQ

In Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the Metropolitan Public Company of Passengers Transportation (EPMTPQ) counts with 600 drivers of which only 10 are women (1,70%). Considering that the EPMTPQ is procuring 50 new fully electric trolleybuses, this pilot proposal seeks to increase the number of female drivers, which means including 10 new female drivers for the new electric bus units. In this context, the proposal considers the employment gender gap in the transportation sector of Ecuador. This proposal aims to increase the representation of women in the e-bus driving workforce, while addressing gender disparities in the transportation sector and challenging traditional gender roles.

Course Curriculum

The course covered a variety of essential topics over 480 hours and six months, including:

• Road Education

• Law and Regulations of Land Transportation

• Traffic and Road Safety

• Basic Mechanics

• Human Relations

• First Aid

• Environmental Education

• Geography of Ecuador

• Computing

• English

• Driving Theory

• Driving Practice

• Applied Psychology

• Customer Service

The participants were selected from a pool of women who had previously excelled in the "Courier Operator" course conducted by the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) in partnership with World Vision Ecuador, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, Grupo Entregas, and the UN Refugee Agency.

The program successfully prepares women to operate vehicles for logistics purposes. These graduates are now poised to enter the workforce, contributing to reducing the gender gap in the transport sector. Their involvement is expected to extend to the E-MOVILIZA pilot project and collaboration with Grupo Entregas for job placements.

The capacity building program is embedded in the SOLUTIONSplus project and aims to scale up within the E-MOVILIZA project. A continuation of this effort has resulted in a proposal for UNEP, focusing on increasing women's participation in the e-bus driving workforce in Quito. This proposal includes capacity building, financial support, and targeted training programs to address gender disparities in the transportation sector.

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