OPINION

A Nightmare in Public Transport

May 15, 2006
Ajay

My Bus TicketI had to attend my Grandma's birthday party last evening and since my bike was giving problems I decided to use public transport to get back home from work.

I left my workplace a little after 3.30pm and hitched a ride with a colleague heading towards Thane. His plans changed and I had to get off at Rabale and find a bus or auto heading towards Airoli.

For those who aren't aware, the transport in Navi Mumbai SUCKS!

After a good deal of waiting a 513 arrived and I jumped in as it heads towards Mulund.

Instead of getting off at Airoli, which I am familiar with, I went upto Mulund (E). My first mistake.

The FineI climbed over the correct bridge at Mulund to get to the West and started off in the wrong direction. I asked a traffic cop who pointed me towards the bus stops. I reached there, searched and asked and found the correct stop.

I got into a 398 and asked the conductor for Chakala and he told me it goes only to Marol and asked me to get off. Second mistake!

I got off at the next stop only to be caught by the ticket collector (TC). Argued a great deal with the TC in Hindi. But I was getting late and will admit that for the TC, I was in the wrong. I finally paid off the small fine.

For those who don't understand Marathi, it says that I had to pay a fine for travelling ticketless.

I still maintain that the conductor is largely to blame. And I am pissed off not being clear before boarding the bus and also for getting off, because incidently the 398 did go to where I wanted to!

I got the TC to tell me the correct bus no. and bus-stop and I finally found the right one. It was already past 5.30pm.

The Bus Stop

The bus journey took me more than an hour and I reached home a little before seven.

Got ready in a hurry and left for the party, strongly vowing to not travel by public transport again, unless I have no option!

A blogger for nearly three years and a the creator of a few plugins, hacks and themes for WordPress, Ajay has always been called a geek. You can find his personal blog at http://ajaydsouza.com. He also run Techtites, a technology blog bringing you the latest news, with original articles, tutorials and tips.
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#1
Lakshmikanth
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May 15, 2006
01:15 AM

man, its the same almost everywhere in India.. come to bangalore.. you would see some of the shadiest people in the world as bus drivers and bus conductors.. agreed that some of them are angels and i have met some angel bus drivers and conductors...

but otherwise they are fit to be caught tied on a pole and burned on the stakes.

Another big problem is the absence of a managed fleet. I say kill the goverment influence in transportation services. It will make life much easier.

#2
Ajay D'Souza
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May 15, 2006
01:58 AM

Privatisation will improve transport in a lot of ways.

And Mumbai has one of the best transport networks in India. I've been to Pune and I won't even get down to talking about it!

#3
Righta
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May 15, 2006
01:44 PM

Public Transport is the costliest in Mumbai, and theres a surcharge of 25 paise on every ticket(you can see that in the ticket you have attached in this post) which was introduced during India-China war or some war more than 25 years back which got regularised eventually!(once a toll or tax is introduced its never reversed even if the original reason is non-existant, like many of the Toll Bridges).

In banglore small change is always kept for later, the conductors never give change upfront and they scribble something cryptically on the ticket and hope that you miss a chance to ask the for change before you alight.

#4
Ajay D'Souza
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May 15, 2006
02:47 PM

Good point Righta about the surcharge. I really wonder where that 15p per ticket actually goes.

Right again about the toll and tax. Look at education cess and the service tax, the latter just got increased.

The small change problem does happen in Mumbai as well, only thing is that it isn't as prominent as you state Banglore to be.

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