Majority of people living in big cities has to depend on public transport for travelling long and short distances. Even after 45 years, the government has not been able to solve transport problems. With the passage of time it has become more acute. The public is at the mercy of transporters who present a united front. They even dictate the Road Transport Authorities. The main reason behind the problem is public corruption. Nobody cares for public comfort and convenience.
The buses are generally overcrowded, and the majority has. to travel standing, even on footboards. The conductors and drivers are generally uncourteous and do not care for public comfort and safety. During office hours there is great rush on the bus stops. People have to stand in queues. Buses pass by without stopping. As a rule, Omnibus must stop on the assigned stops. It is generally a bitter experience to stand and wait on the bus stop looking up and down. It is a good exercise though often resented.
The changing governments make tall claims to serve the public, specially the poor. The public is fed up with empty promises. A scene on the bus stop is distracting and interesting. It was a summer after noon. The scorching sun and the heat was unbearable. I had to wait for half an hour on the Guru Mandir bus stop. There was big rush of passengers mostly students of both sexes. Most of the down buses came overloaded. The crowd swung with the buses. Many drove past without stopping. A few stopped for dropping some passengers. The tired waiters made assaults. The young and stout ones forced their way into the buses. The old, ladies and children looked helplessly. Some passengers were even pushed down by the rude conductors.
The drivers damn cared for the passengers. They generally started the vehicles while the passengers were alighting. Some old persons and ladies fell down and were injured. The Conductors called out ‘Double’ without caring for the passengers. The disappointed waiters chased the buses that stopped before or beyond the stop. The chat-walas and pan bidi hawkers made good business. Some passengers sought the help of the police. Omni buses are supposed to stop at every assigned post. Some fat pockets hired rukchas and taxies.
Some rowdies teased and passed remarks against the ladies. Instead of protesting they kept silent or enjoyed the remarks. I felt like beating the black sheep; but I was helpless. Some professional beggars constantly assailed the standing public. Gradually the pressure of passengers from above decreased. A few buses arrived without standing prisoners; stopped at the stop. I jumped into my bus and thanked my stars.