Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Experiments With Bus !!

Last week I was mainly commuting by bus, giving my bike a break ( not on weekends though ;) ). One bike less on road - means ease on traffic, lessen global warming, saving petrol, and thus India's foreign reserve...blah blah blah... In fact this was not at all my reason to leave bike, I was simply too lazy to ride !!! In Bangalore it is always better when someone drives for you. Earlier if I need to take bus from Jakkasandra to MG Road, I will need to go to Shanthi Nagar and then to MG Road and it was tedious. Now the new Big10 fleet that BMTC introduced, it is single bus and is neat, almost empty ( only one occasion I didn't get seat from beginning ) and fast.

Of course there was another benefit too. Together I was walking for around 30 mins a day. It was good for my health too.

Here are some interesting things I found during the week. Everyday there was music for company. No, Big10 is not Volvo and there is no music system in bus. That was the magic of mobile mp3 players. And most of the time there will be more than one generous soul at work. You will get a mix of Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and occasional Hip Hop. That was fun. And if someone asks any of them to stop the music, they will give a look like they can't believe their ears and will continue the social service !!!

The bus drivers are much better compared to the regular BMTC services ( Volvos’ excluded). They will stop the engine at the signals, blink indicators while turning, stop properly at the bus stops and won’t horn lot – other drivers have a lot to learn from them.

There are some things to improve too : the frequency being first. Sometimes I needed to wait for about 40 minutes only to find two or more buses are coming in a row ! If they have been planned better, they should not need to compete with each other and I will need to wait less. Second one is that, the Big 10 buses use a lot of glass. But they are not sun-protected. So the morning and evening sun will be on you at full might. If they use the sun film or even the advertisements as in the Volvos, it would be pleasant for the commuters and beneficial for the BMTC.

At the bus stops story is different. Even when the bench is empty, people will stand only on the road, that too in the middle !!! The other vehicles need to avoid them and often cause jams. The bus stop near Central, Mayo Hall is another story. The chairs are too low that even a 2 year old will find it difficult to sit.

I enjoyed my trips. Good job BMTC. On flip side, not a lot of people know about the Big 10’s. As you are celebrating Bus Days now, please publish the new services ( Big 10, Big O, Orange line etc ) in news papers or notices inside bus or at bus stops. Hope to see more innovations from them. No wonder BMTC is the only public transport under government making profit.


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