Last month, Namma Metro arrived in the city of Bengaluru in a full-fledged manner. After a decade of delayed construction, the metro rail is finally ready and Bangaloreans are flocking to it. This make me ponder if we Silicon City finally ditch the omnipresent autorikshaws and city buses. Urban analysts may think it will take a long time for citizens to move on to the Metro due to last-mile connectivity and vehicle parking issues, some of us believe city bus travel in Bangalore will be nostalgic memory one day.
However, I personally feel many of us would prefer the Metro at any cost since travelling in Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses is truly a herculean task! If you are planning to lose weight, you might as well take a ride in our city’s BMTC buses. You can lose or gain change while handling the tickets. You can fit into the minimum space available to the most comfortable amount of space for the most comfortable sleep you can get while sitting!!
The first time you ride a city bus, you will be anxious to not miss your bus stop. The next time, you will notice the inconsistency in bus timings. After a wait of nearly an hour, you will land up choosing between more than two buses on the same route. Chances are that you will either find a seat in both the buses or no seats at all! You may have to get used to wearing a sports shoe, for you need to run behind the bus that stops ahead of the bus stop and get it in the spot it stops!
After riding the bus a few more times, you are well geared to deal with situations. You will soon land up fighting with the conductor to extract change, curse a boy for not vacating a ladies seat or get badly stomped by hefty guy. Many of us would have heard such complaints but such stories that add up the misery.
Travelling on BMTC, you experience a different world that angers you and at the same time, brings a smile in your lips. Sometimes there are situations when there may be seats vacant in the ladies seat, but the rear part of the bus is almost full. But you will find conductors not allowing students with their massively heavy backpacks to sit on them, though they might have waited at the bus stop for a long time. These hapless kids hold monthly bus passes and hence do not pay for tickets, so they don’t deserve those seats!
Want to gain some patience and manage your anger? Try getting into a bus which is full. You will squeeze yourself into the bus and find your one foot to somehow found some space to settle. There are also times when you land up being the no-seat person from first stop till the last, while everyone who boarded with you got seats. Now comes a case when the driver applies brake suddenly and then you are hurled through the bus to land with a thud on the bonnet!
Then when you do get a seat, you have three bags on your lap (yours and two others of someone who standing beside you). For people like me who spends half the time travelling to college, I carry a small book to prevent me from falling asleep. Sometimes the traffic is so slow that I silently fall asleep and no amount of noise, jerk wakes me up. For such people, an inherent biological clock wakes me up just a stop before mine, this without any intervention!