Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation [TNSTC] — Private Bus Service Problems,

Address:Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

Sir,

Ref. : Private Bus Service problems: suggestions

Please excuse me as I have included this complaint under TNSTC against whom I don't have any complaint, but, it affects all public transportation services.
A few days back, I boarded Coimbatore city bus 1C, private company, (route Vadavalli to Ondiputhur) at stop Lawley road, time approximately 2030pm. At the door, the conductor was busy chatting on his mobile phone. After the bus crossed next stop, milk company he finally arrived at my seat when I asked for ticket to 'Ulluvar sandhai(shandy market)'. He then informed me that the bus will only go halfway upto GH Stop since they (messrs driver & conductor) were on 'dinner break'.

He further claimed that he had announced this at the door but as I mentioned, he was on conversation on his mobile. This type of 'dinner break' announcement has happened more than once on this route with these private buses creating inconvenience for passengers. Bus numbers approaching the busy GH Bus stop(proceeding East or E) is not visible to persons seated on the stop bench due to the bend in the road, so most passengers are forced to stand on the roadside so not to miss a bus. The GH Stop(E) roadside is not hygienic, with trash bin nearby. In any case, the time would be around 2100pm and seats may not be available to my destination, Shandy stop.

I immediately asked for ticket to Gandhi park so that I can get a seat all the way to my destination. As the bus reaches route midway point the seats fill up and passengers have to stand. This problem of 'breakdown' occurs during road flooding caused by EVERY rain storm, when one or two buses often get stuck in the traffic, in our city just like the news reports about New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. Due to the delay in buses, the one or two buses that reach stops very late are overloaded with passengers some standing on the footboard. The conductor, driver who are overworked on these days, tension, due to traffic then informs passengers that they will only travel upto GH or midway, such as Sungam post office stop.

The flooding chain reaction affects other transport services, like Ola, Uber, autorickshaws, etc. The passengers wanting to board buses or trains at the railway station/interstate bus terminus having experienced delay in the past, due to taxi stuck in traffic are forced to board the city bus with their large rexin bag luggage (they buy extra ticket for their luggage) reducing the standing room in the bus corridor and reducing available seats. The taxi drivers knowing that passengers are facing a shortage of taxis often demand a 'night rate' additional fee above the metered rate sometimes even Rs100/- so if passenger refuses, he will be left standing in the rain for an hour waiting for allotment of another taxi. Many owners of two wheelers also avoid driving their vehicle after a rain storm, due to the danger of their engine getting flooded in roadside stagnant deep water, so increase the load on the buses :more of the chain reaction. I request that a few of my suggestions, a solution is implemented before the current rainy season begins in july-august.

I have the following suggestions/solutions :
1. Long term solution (implemented over the next 6 months) :all buses should have a red illuminated sign located inside bus above the seat with the side bar, opposite to both doors, front and rear, (similar to the EXIT sign in a cinema theatre) message as 'Enquire' and 'visarikavum' in both English and Tamil so passengers first check these illuminated signs before boarding a 'bus breakdown' or 'dinner break' avoids the passenger having to board a second bus without an empty seat. The sign is switched on after instructions from Traffic police, to conductors mobile phone, if a bus that follows has broken down, or one or more buses are stuck in traffic thus passengers can take another bus on alternate route.

At minimum cost, within a month, on all buses, two light 3mm board professionally painted reversible signboards(say 24x10inch size, see jpg attachments), as suggested on one side can be affixed, with a suitable 2nos. (7 lever)padlock hinges + 2nos. cabinet hinges. The reverse of this sign (i.e. padlock flipped up) reads as 'vannakam/welcome'. Padlock sign board is more reliable does not require bulb replacement that may fail on route.
2. Ban speaking on mobile at the bus stop by conductor since this is not only annoying, but is dangerous for passengers who have to watch their step if bus is parked on an uneven road increasing step height, find an empty seat, avoid pick pockets, etc. He must complete his conversation after/ before stop on route.
3. Advertise/notice public awareness campaign : Education about these unexpected breakdowns, and to check the signboards/illuminated 'enquire' sign described under point 1. The strategic locations of instructions could be bus stops, bus terminus, bus tickets, newspaper/TV advertisement, billboads etc.
4. Additional stops for 7 and 1D : These two buses reach their terminus Gandhipark and after staff tea break, take a slightly differential route i.e. :to regular R.S. Puram Stop and then R.S.Puram Post Office. I suggest this D.B. North bound route be modified to instead stop at 1C, R.S. Puram special stop, through Mercara road onto Flower market stop Brookfield stop, turn north on Brook bond road then u turn back at brookbond- metupalayam road junction then signal turn right into East TVS Road, to (continue) R.S.puram Post office, Cowley brown road... Powerhouse, Gandhipuram. Passengers from Brookfield mall who also want a seat can board this bus to R.S. Puram or Gandhipuram terminus then get another bus with seat to G.H./Railway stations thus avoid standing in the crowded 1C bus. This solution will also avoid overcrowding 1C bus during breakdown, rains, etc. The Brookfield passengers on Ukkadam town hall buses can avoid similar traffic jams on Big Bazaar street
5. Brookfield Second Bus stop bench :(long term solution) This stop is a few feet West to be used for buses bound for Gandhipuram (7, 1D, etc).The twin stop system appears similar to State Bank Road bus stop. If the traffic police install a strategically positioned security camera, (that can also serve to detect traffic light violations) they can have an idea about number of passengers wanting to travel to R.S. Puram/Gandhipuram. For instance, rush after one of the Brookfield cinema halls viewers leave the theatre. They can then redirect the empty(government) 7 or 1D to return(repeat only once, so not to delay passengers already seated on the bus) to Brookfield stop (say en route, when they are located at or before West TVS Road signal). This improves the efficient usage of government diesel, avoiding a nearly/partially empty bus travelling to Gandhipuram. For this to be successful, the buses should stop at allotted position, so that chaotic situation on state Bank Road bus stop at random positions, due to sheer volume of buses on that route must be avoided.
6. Instructions to taxi services App flag :Last month, a friend of mine used a private taxi service (Uber/ola) from GH Bus stop to Singanelur, but the driver REFUSED to take the newly constructed flyover but instead took the old road causing delay at Trichy road- nanjudapuram road signal. My point is, if two or more taxis or worse ALL taxis avoid using the new flyovers then they will create tension for the bus staff(other vehicles) due to congestion. I suggest that taxi drivers refusing to use the flyovers should be reported on the app(in provided check box) so that they can face a warning, citation or fine from Traffic police.

Kindly do needful.
Thanking you, for

Yours truly,
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Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation [TNSTC] customer support has been notified about the posted complaint.
Jun 28, 2023
Updated by Moduaenodey
Corrction, point 5 :
Read as : ... to Brookfield stop (say en route, when they are located at or before East TVS Road signal)... etc.

That makes more sense. Thanks, Truly,
Jun 29, 2023
Updated by Moduaenodey
Addenda 2:
point(1) :The suggested reversible signboards are mounted similar to vehicle registration plates and adequate number of rubber/nylon bushes must be used to avoid the vibrations and ensure long service life.

I would like to suggest that my ideas need not be implemented 'word for word' but, modified after consultation with the transport authority, the employees union and the traffic police. For instance, point (4), instead of additional stop at Brookfield mall(note the merit that if people find a convenient bus service to the Brookfield Mall, and all the major cinema theatres, viz. :Baba Complex, Ganga complex and K.G. Theatre, people will leave their vehicles at home and use the city bus service thus reducing traffic congestion) the 1D and 7 can stop at Flower market and go straight to T.V.S. Road (E) traffic signal, then continue to R.S. Puram Post office. This will reduce congestion on the Brooke Bond Road.

As the transportation experts know, instead of a typical round trip (say Vadavalli to Ondiputhur) taking about 45minutes the bus staff are forced to work 1-2 hours without a break due to traffic jam, that is inhuman. From a h.r.d. point of view, such feequent activity will result in their health being spoilt resulting in loss of human resources. My suggestions are not too find fault or penalize any transportation staff but, to improve the quality of transportation service.
Thanks, Truly,
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