Some lesson in etiquette

Rude behaviour

Some lesson in etiquette

Travelling in a bus can be a nightmare — especially if the conductor turns out to be rude or abusive. Women travelling in buses often face this problem and many feel that they have no option but to bear it. One can, of course, argue with them; but most commuters feel that bus conductors need to learn to be more sensitive to people’s problems.

Regular commuters point out that bus conductors often tell them not to stand near the front portion of the bus and urge them to move to the back instead.

“This is a very common complaint and I am sure every woman has faced this once. Even if the bus is jam-packed, conductors ask us to move in — and if we don’t, they yell at us and force us to listen to them. I don’t think it is fair to force anyone to do things they are not comfortable doing,” says Ayesha, an IT professional.

Anjana, also a professional, says that another point of contention between passengers and conductors is about handing over change.

“I argue almost everyday with the conductor regarding the change. Passengers cannot be expected to carry the exact change all the time. However, conductors refuse to understand this and don’t care to lower their voices when telling us off. An argument in the morning is the last thing one would want,” she says.

Bus conductors, however have a different point of view. They say that they ask the commuters to move away from the front portion of the bus as it is highly unsafe to stand near the door.

“I know it is difficult to make your way into a packed bus. But our prime focus is the safety of the passengers. There have been incidences in the past when conductors have been beaten up if a passenger has sustained injuries. We have to be rude if a passenger does not listen to us. Besides, many youngsters travel on the footboards of buses for the sheer sense of adventure — they don’t listen to us unless we shout at them,” says Murgasen, a bus conductor.

One of the other common complaints that Bangaloreans have is that they aren’t allowed enough time to board or disembark from the bus.

“We are often forced to board and get off the bus very fast. Conductors tell us to hop on or get off a running bus too. Even if we are late by a minute, the conductor starts creating a scene. This is a common issue that commuters face. Youngsters can manage to do that, but it’s difficult for senior citizens to be so quick,” says Lavanya, who travels in a bus on a regular basis. 

Some also suggest that conductors, as well as bus drivers, should be trained in etiquette.

“They should be taught some basic things, such as talking politely to women and senior citizens and making sure the bus doesn’t move when people are boarding and disembarking,” sums up Anjana.

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