‘Not to worry! Sir, this is just the beginning’

Well, ‘Bus day’ was a day full of excitement, anxiety and fun. Thanks to BMTC and all those folks involved in the brilliant initiative of ‘Bus Day’ in Bengaluru. Ever since I took the bus to my office in the morning, I had rented out my ears, eyes and mind to the happenings around me.

Most of the social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Orkut carried a lot of updates on ‘Bus Day’. I could see many of my fellow buddies tweeting about them. They would read as "BMTC here I come… #busday" or "Took the bus to work today on #busday #Bangalore".

I was also tweeting throughout my journey in the morning as well as in the evening. There were many people who even shared some of the pictures on twitpic.

Personally, based on what I experienced, I do not know whether I should call it a success or otherwise. But I still feel very good and supportive about the initiative and the thinking that has gone behind ‘Bus Day’ initiative. It is as simple as asking people to make use of public transport. I personally prefer going to office by bus because it not only keeps me ‘de-stressed’ but also gives me enough time to read, listen to music and the like.

I travel from Vijaynagar to ITPL every day by bus. So I take the 500K Volvo in the morning and while coming back I came via Majestic. With a good hope to see ‘Bus Day’ a success, I got in to the bus in the morning at around 7.15 AM. I was pleasantly surprised as soon as I got into the bus. I thought, wow, here I see the change.

Deccan Herald (DH) newspapers were kept on all the seats. I was happy to grab one and station myself to start my 90 minute journey. I checked with the bus conductor on the reason for distributing the newspapers; for which he said, "Today is Bus Day, sir; so it is special." I also checked with him whether he has any expectations from ‘Bus Day’, he did not say anything much on that. But, he was talking more about the new TATA Marcopolo buses. He preferred the TATA bus compared to Volvo because it gives good mileage and the cost of the bus is nearly 1/3rd of the Volvo. I noticed him giving the same gyan to one more person for the same question that I asked. People have their own concerns. What say?

I was expecting many people to get in to the bus. But to my disappointment, I saw less number of people compared to other days during my journey in the morning. Perhaps! The reason BMTC had added more additional buses. Of those who were sitting in the bus, the only discussions happening were on ‘Bus Day’. I noticed a few of the first timers enquiring about the bus timings while coming back from ITPL. I thought they are the ones who were the real followers of ‘Bus Day’. Good for them. But in the morning, the traffic was as usual. There was no change or any reduction that I noticed in the number of four and two wheelers. But there were many volunteers with white colored ‘Bus Day’ caps at all the major bus stops.

I guess their job was to guide the commuters to the right bus and make the bus drivers stop the buses at the designated places. In spite of them being at the Marathalli junction, our driver, zoomed on the wrong lane. Who cares?

After I reached office I was tracking the updates on the Twitter. Majority of the updates gave me an impression that no one noticed any drastic change. However, one of my friends told me that there is less traffic on the Hosur Road.

After watching all the updates, I had no  hope of coming across anything exciting during my evening journey back home. I got in to the Volvo 335E at 5.30 PM; most of the seats were empty as usual. I checked with the conductor as to what is exciting about ‘Bus Day’. He said ‘there is no change, sir’.

I reached Majestic bus stand but still I did not see any surge in the number of passengers. But interestingly, it took only 55 minutes for me to reach Majestic. That means, there was comparatively less traffic as it usually takes 70 minutes for me  from my office to reach Majestic. Atleast I did not get stuck with the traffic jam anywhere.

As I got down at the Majestic bus stand and while I was waiting for the connecting bus to Vijaynagar, I noticed media vehicles parked inside the bus stand. I also noticed some of the TV reporters with video cameras in their hands waiting for someone to arrive. I guess they were trying to make a report on ‘Bus Day’. Fortunately, I got the bus Volvo 238T within five minutes. And both the driver and the conductor were known to me very well. I used to commute by the same bus every morning until some days back. So I felt good that I could strike a conversation with them on this exciting topic.

Venkatesh – the bus conductor, always calm, smiling and very prompt greeted me with ‘Namaskara’ and he was enquiring why I have not been taking his bus in the morning. I slowly got him to speak on the hot topic. To my amazement, he made my day. Perhaps he gave a shape to all my cluttered thoughts on  ‘Bus Day’. He said there is no major impact because of this initiative. He also told that because BMTC had added 150 or so more buses, it is difficult to say why there was no surge in the number of passengers.

And when I pressed him to tell me the most exciting thing that has happened on ‘Bus Day’, he said the following: ‘Interesting thing is that BMTC has initiated it and bus day will be organised on 4th day of every month; there are additional buses on the roads; slowly people will get to know. If not today, it will be a super hit in the future’.

I was very pleased to hear this from him and the way BMTC staff member have been informed about this new initiative. Even I thought the same, we have already experienced one ‘Bus day’. And in the coming days, if there is some more hard work on the promotions, I am sure; more people will buy in to this brilliant initiative. All for their good!

In the end when I was about to get down, Venkatesh said, "Not to worry! Sir! today is a beginning. We will do it once in a month, and then once in 15 days, and then once in a week and finally you will see us taking everyone in the bus every day."

Wow! Was my reaction. There is still hope for BMTC with people like Venkatesh.

Do I need to say more?   ⊕

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About Srikanth Parthasarathy 0 Articles
Howdy! I am an HR professional and a photography enthusiast!

1 Comment

  1. Even I am a regular commuter in BMTC buses, but I did not see any change on “Bus Day” rather I got stuck in traffic jam created by additional Buses and reached office 15 minutes late.

    Still I hope that such initiatives will difenitely change our city in future once more and more people will come to know about it.

    Great effort from BMTC!

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