I was to board the KSRTC Meghadoota service to Chennai on 27th November 2008 at the Shanthinagar bus stand in Bangalore. The bus that was scheduled to start at 10.17 PM, did not arrive at the bus stop till 11 PM. The bus that managed to arrive so late from the depot had mechanical problems.
The driver reported that the bus could not pick up speed and possibly not go beyond third gear. Apart from this, the bus also had very bad air conditioning, which added to the frustration and fury of the passengers.
The angry passengers demanded that the conductor give it in writing about the condition of the bus and also regarding the late arrival, so that action could be taken against the concerned through the Consumer Court. The conductor, who was not ready to do so, directed the driver to drive the bus back to Majestic bus stand.
It was 12:00 AM by now, and the passengers were stranded at the main bus stand.
While the depot manager, the only living creature at the Majestic bus stand at that hour, managed to approve the use of a higher class service bus for this journey, another problem reared its head- the driver had no experience of driving a Volvo bus. Hence the driver had to have a practice session at the bus stand. The driver, who was ecstatic about handling a new Volvo, confidently agreed to drive us to Chennai.
Thus, that day the passengers united for a common cause, and proved that a voice raised by all of us together can jolt the officials into action and force them to provide better services to the public.