Arduous bus ride for seniors

Tough journey

Arduous bus ride  for seniors

Though the BMTC has introduced many passenger-friendly high-tech buses in the City, one can still spot crowded buses with people hanging on to footboards and jumping off even before the vehicle reaches the stop. 

Travelling by the bus is all the more problematic for the senior citizens, who feel that the public transport is not user-friendly at all.

One of the most common complaints is the lack of seats. While a majority of the buses have four to six seats reserved for the senior citizens, very rarely do they get these seats.Worse, there are very few people who get up and offer the seat to them. 

Vijaylakshmi, a 65-year-old woman who commutes everyday from Banashankari to Jayanagar 3rd Block, says, “I take the bus during the rush hour in the mornings. So it’s a big challenge to even get a seat there. At times, the conductors help us out and ask people to get up. But most of the time, it gets very difficult for us to hang on to the bars. The other alternatives, like autos, are very expensive for us.”
Some also feel that the buses are in such a hurry to leave the stop that there isn’t enough time to hop on. “On some of the old buses, the first step is very high. So it takes me some time to hold on to the bus and actually pull myself in. And if the bus is in a hurry to leave, it gets even more challenging,” explains Shantanu, a senior citizen. He goes on to add, “I prefer waiting for the newer buses as the steps are lower. I also prefer the Volvos as the drivers and conductors in them are more courteous.” 

 Kamala Gopi, who shuttles daily between Majestic and Malleswaram, says, “I have a senior citizen pass and because of this, many conductors behave like I am taking a free ride at their expense. 

Also they refuse to help us get the seats, which are occupied by young men but reserved for women or seniors. Though there is a complaint box at all major bus stands, I don’t know how far it helps. I feel the concerned department should conduct more surprise checks and keep a tab.”

The seniors also have a few good things to say about the buses like the regular announcement of stops and the LED display boards. 

“The new display boards have proved to be very helpful as the normal display system is smeared and smudgy. Even the leg space between the seats in the newer buses is good. In the old buses, the space is crammed and every time the brakes are applied, our knees hit the seat in the front,” says Srinivas Nayak, another senior citizen.

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