Commuter desperation spells opportunity for autorickshaws

Lack of adequate bus services from the HAL bus stop to anywhere on Suranjan Das Road, up to Old Madras Road, has meant that commuters are at the mercy of fleecing autorickshaw drivers.  

Autorickshaw drivers cash in on the desperation that commuters are in.“During the day, they charge Rs 10 from each passenger on a sharing basis,” said Chand Pasha, a resident of the area for the last three decades. 

“After 9 pm, they will not only raise their fares to nothing less than Rs 80 or Rs 100, they may also refuse to take passengers on a sharing basis, taking advantage of the helplessness of commuters.”  

Some autorickshaw drivers charge Rs 50 to take passengers to NGEF Layout - a distance of just one kilometre.

“One may have to wait for almost half an hour or more to get a bus here,” said a commuter who has been taking the bus from the area every day for the last two years.    Despite the infrequent services, commuters say it is more economical to take the bus. 

“For a distance of less than half a kilometre, autorickshaw drivers charge Rs 10 per passenger on a sharing basis. If one’s destination is beyond the stopping point of autos, they charge more. Buses charge only Rs 5 for the same distance and at the most, the fare till Madras Road is Rs 10,” said Ramchand, another commuter.    
 Even Metro feeder bus services, which were supposed to cater to such a problem, are not useful.

“There are three Metro feeder buses, but I hardly see them. Only when there is no other choice, I resort to taking the auto, which is something I try to avoid simply because of the company of strangers,” said Nikita, who lives near BEML.  
 On the flipside, however, these autorickshaws serve as the only means of transport after 8 pm, when no buses ply on the route. Rajanand, who lives in Domlur, expressed a more positive opinion towards auto drivers. 

“In the absence of any transport, it is these autos which remain here round the clock and help us reach our destinations,” he said. 

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