Friday, May 9, 2008

A bus-ride to Chamundi Hills

A KSRTC bus I took from the Mysore city bus-stand to Chamundi Hills had no conductor. Its driver was doubling up as one. A smart staff-cutting move by transport authorities. The snag was that we got held up at an intermediary point, while the driver left his seat to issue tickets to passengers. The vehicle had its engine running, as the driver-conductor took his time collecting ticket money, and returning the change. People usually carried tenners, and expected the conductor to produce the change. He got into a tiff with an odd passenger who produced a 50 or 100-rupee note for the ticket, priced Rs.6.50. More crowded the bus, longer the hold-up for issuing tickets. We were held up a good ten minutes.

Wouldn't it help if they rationaliised the fare? Lower it to Rs.5, which no one would do, with spiralling oil prices; or raise the fare to Rs.10, a round figure. Open a money-changer kiosk at the city bus terminals to help passengers keep proper change before boarding a bus.

To cut down paper consumption KSRTC could replace paper ticketing with plastic boarding cards, to be dropped in a box as passengers get off the bus.

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