A recipe for disaster

Chaotic Bays

A recipe for disaster

Hang around any of the bus bays across the City and it’s hard not to notice that the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus drivers have a tendency to stop their vehicles in any place except the designated area. Passengers are forced to negotiate the moving traffic, cross over and board the bus. This happens more often when there’s a bus already stationed at the bus bay; those that come behind overtake it and stop beyond the bay. Commuters see danger in this trend. Not only does it add to traffic congestion, but people who get off these buses are at a risk of being hit by a two-wheeler rider. Metrolife spoke to the management of the BMTC and bus commuters to understand why this problem continues despite claims of strict
enforcement.

Anjum Parwez, managing director of the BMTC, points out that about 147 locations to construct bus bays were identified across the City in 2007. “Of these, only 64 have been constructed in partnership with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), and it cost us almost Rs two crore. These places were finalised after a survey was conducted, to spot the areas where there are more people,” explains Anjum.

He further states that the tenders to construct an additional 56 bus bays have been called for. “The logic of a bus bay is that the buses stop inside the bays and not on the main roads. This not only prevents the obstruction of  traffic but protects passengers, who are boarding the bus, from getting hit by a vehicle driving past,” he adds. 

The traffic police say that they have a tough time trying to prevent buses from stopping at random places. Additional commissioner of police (traffic) B Dayananda says that the traffic police have booked BMTC buses for wrong parking. “We’ve noticed that this has been happening at several crowded bus stops across the City.

The drivers will have to pay a spot fine of Rs 100 if they are caught parking in the wrong places,” he says. The traffic police say that they will have to collaborate with the BMTC to ensure that bus drivers are tutored to stop only at the demarcated places.  
 
Regular BMTC commuters find this habit exasperating and complain that most of the time, they are at risk of being hit when boarding a bus. Varun, a student who
regularly travels by bus, feels that BMTC rules exist only on paper.

“Poor implementation is the prime reason for BMTC buses stopping outside the bus bays. The buses not only trigger a traffic jam, but increase the chances of someone being hit while boarding,” says Varun. While Sayantan Guha, a short film-maker, applauds the services of the BMTC buses, he feels it would help if the buses stop inside the bus bays. “Paying a little more attention to stopping at the right places would not only avoid commotion on the roads, but prevent a possible mishap,” reasons Sayantan.

Sunitha Krishnan, a housewife, notes that BMTC buses stopping outside bus bays is ‘unpardonable’. “The BMTC drivers may be more concerned about covering a certain distance in a day, but they should not do it at the cost of a person’s life,” she says.

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