Multitasking behind the wheel

risky affair

Multitasking behind the wheel

Bangaloreans frequently find reason to complain about the City’s public transport system.

One such complaint is about the common sight of bus drivers doubling up as conductors, issuing tickets as well as driving the vehicle. Regular commuters and the authorities speak to Metrolife about this.

Such one-manned vehicles are another reason for traffic blocks, unscheduled busstops and haphazard driving.

Abhishek V, an MBA student who commutes by bus, says, “How can one concentrate when he or she is doing too many things simultaneously? The same goes for this case. Such buses are prone to accidents. Besides, it’s a time-consuming affair.”

He adds, “With the existing traffic, buses rarely ply on time. With the driver also issuing tickets, the travel time automatically doubles.”

It’s especially time-consuming because often, the driver has to search for change to give to the commuter.

Rakesh Jain, an area sales manager with an MNC, says, “I’ve seen this happen on the Pushpak buses. People try to be cooperative with the driver but multitasking — especially on the road — always has its share of issues.”

He feels that conductors should be assigned to these buses to avoid accidents.
Poornima Balakrishnan, a teacher, opines that having a driver issue tickets also allows many people to get away without buying one.

“When a crowd rushes into the bus, the driver is not able to get hold of everyone. I’ve
often seen people slip away without buying a ticket in Pushpaks,” she elaborates.
She adds that since the driver cannot walk around to check if everyone has tickets, this is an easy field for people who like the cheap thrill of ticket-less travel.

While the driver is issuing tickets, his attention is divided. He has to jot down the number of tickets sold, provide change and even instruct passengers to walk in and be
seated. Suhas Sriram, a graduate, who travels between Majestic and Kengeri often
witnesses this regularly.

Suhas says, “It’s a risky affair. Once, I was in one of these Pushpak buses, and the driver was busy issuing tickets to a huge crowd which had rushed in. He didn’t notice that and he closed the door when the last person was halfway on the footboard. The commuter fell back and was injured.” Suhas also says that he has witnessed many traffic blocks because these drivers are doing too many things at a time.
Anjum Parwez, the managing director of the BMTC, says, “Most of these buses do factory shifts for companies like Infosys, Mindtree, GE, HMT and firms based in Manyata Tech Park.

After dropping the employees, they do not go back to the bus depots but start plying on their regular routes. Therefore, there are no conductors on these buses and the driver has to issue the tickets.”

On the other hand, general manager (traffic) of the BMTC, Veeregowda GN, says that there will be changes seen soon.

“An order has been issued to provide conductors for all Pushpak buses and it will be implemented very soon.”

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