- Kimberly Okesalako
Travelling by public transport has become a factor in every body’s lives. Increase in the price of not only transport fare but also that of fuel and diesel has made it difficult for various people to travel daily to work. What would have been cheaper to own a vehicle would not be more difficult. Another thing about public transport is that the government places a fixed price on the tickets for various areas. Unlike autos and cabs, which can fluctuate depending on the driver, public transportations are unable to interfere with the price ranges. Various peoples have complained about travelling to the same destination but have had to pay different prices once they reach their destination. It has become difficult for those who live close to the outskirts of the city to travel by anything other than public transportation. However, there are those buses that come more frequently than others where those who have a bus pass are unable to use it.
These buses are generally those that have to head to the central bus station and have decided to make some money on the way. They have the habit of quoting whichever price they want as they are not even providing tickets to the passengers. These are generally for those who are late and are unable to wait for the next bus. What would have been a 20/- ride would turn out to be 30/- on these buses.
There are times when they end up not going all the way to their required destination and only refund half the money back to you. With autos and cabs travelling so rarely to these locations, the people have had to rely heavily on the buses.
On good factor is that these buses travel on a fixed schedule. However, with the ever-increasing issue that the city has had due to traffic, it had become difficult for them to keep up with this schedule. Places like Horamavu or Kannur, even Electronic city or Nice road, have seen an increase in the private sector for transportation.
A number of travel agencies have sprouted up and over the years there has been a hike in the number of people moving to these areas. However, that does not mean that it remains inexpensive. Due to the availability of public transportation in these areas, those who are unable to afford it can take alternative means.
The mornings find people in a rush to leave the house as early as possible to get to the bus stops on time. People begin to shove and push each other as the bus begins to roll in. the fight for a place to seat is something a person who travels daily by bus is aware of. It becomes taxing for those who have to travel the long distance. Of course there are those who have to wait for a while before finally getting a seat.
Then respectability comes crashing down when they are expected to stand up because some senior person is in need of the seat. What they fail to realise is that there are some people who travel by bus, though they might have some physical problem, because they can’t afford to do anything else.
Gabriella is a 24 year old single mother who lives in Horamavu. Being that she has to travel daily to majestic to catch another bus, she tends to leave earlier than would have been required.
The issue here is that she travels everyday by bus and has had to receive the judgmental eyes of the women of the “senior citizen” department. What I have come to realise is that women are champions in finding any place to seat and gossip. Gabriella is an Anglo Indian mother so many people assume that she is unable to understand the local language.
They are wrong. Desperate to get herself out of this situation, she scrapped through for four years travelling by the bus so that she can buy herself a car. Yet, old habits are hard to break. There are times when she still travels by the bus just because she can.
One of the difficulties about living near the outskirts of the city is that, though these buses do end up coming, they are rare in nature. Most of the time only about two or three bus comes to these areas. This makes it difficult for people to travel unless they arrive at the bus stop at the exact time given. This would either result in them reaching their destination extremely early or extremely late. A lot of these the people have petitioned to the local parties and have only received replies along the lines of “we will look in to the matter”.
This creates a hassle for the people especially at the end of the day. After work or college or even school, people are extremely tired and the one thing that becomes prominent in their minds is to reach home as soon as possible. However with different working hours, that also means that their timings would clash with that of the bus schedules. Sitting at the bus stations, I have seen people scamper around as the rush after a bus, shoving others away trying to get to the doors just as the bus pulls to a stop. Even with the thought process of waiting to catch the next bus, because of how rare they are, a crowd would have been created by the time the next bus pulls up.