I have been in Bengaluru aka Bengalore for more than a year, and the (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) BMTC buses have been the most affordable transport utility. The buses seem to run as per a fixed schedule for commuters’ comfort and not for the sole purpose of revenue maximization for BMTC. The reason for the observation is that sometimes you may notice a bus moving almost empty like our lawmakers’ heads and sometimes accommodating passengers over the limit like bank accounts of overtly corrupt officials.
The system seems to be quite different than other states I have been in. In some cases the bus driver takes the of conductor’s responsibility of distributing the tickets along with motoring through the notoriously congested roads. It’s here, for the first time, that I have seen lady conductors taking on the task in glutted buses. There are also some serpentine buses, where the rear part of the bus is hinged with the main part in a train like fashion. These are moving merry-go-rounds, because the drivers seems to forget that there some less mortals are graveled in the other part of the vehicle, as they keep oscillating in all possible dimensions because of reckless driving.
Now let me talk about the bus conductors, as you are most likely to “Deal” with them while riding BMTC buses. If you happen to take a comparatively longer journey, then there is no problem as they give the right tickets. But if you are going to hop on for just one or two kilometers, then the ticket charges are in the range of Rs. 3 to Rs. 7. Now, this is the ticket price range where the “Deal” starts. For a Rs. 3 ticket you may pass on the coins in many combinations like coins of Rs 1 and Rs 2 each one, Two Rs 2 coins, or one Rs 5 coin, expecting a return coin(s) with the ticket in last two cases. But in some cases what happens is rather odd; the conductor takes just Rs 2 for Rs 3 ticket, or takes Rs 4 / Rs 5 if the ticket costs Rs 6 and so on, and returns you the extra amount without giving any ticket. In each Deal they let you keep one or two rupees and adjust the rest of the sum for them.
Now it’s up to the passenger, whether he/she insists for the ticket and not let the lenient and caring Conductors keep the money. In case there is any ticket checking by any flying team, the passengers are sole responsible for their tickets. The conductors are not liable for the ticketless passengers, as they can’t force them to take the tickets. If some passengers are caught without ticket, then there are higher chances that they will have to bear all the public embarrassments, the financial fines or whack of the laws.
So, the message is clear, whenever you ride the BMTC bus for the next time, don’t go for the little savings of your (or your family’s) hard earned money, Insist for the right ticket. I will also do the same.
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