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Updated: April 9, 2014 03:41 IST

Never know what to expect on a bus ride in Chennai

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That the airconditioned buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation suffer from poor patronage is no secret. Most buses are often found plying half empty.
That the airconditioned buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation suffer from poor patronage is no secret. Most buses are often found plying half empty.

Students are often seen as menacing but a bunch of youngsters redefined the experience for some commuters, recently

There has been a lot of negativity surrounding rowdy college students travelling on MTC buses. But there are also students who instantly bring a lot of positive energy to bus rides.

Recently, a group of middle-school students, who boarded a bus on route 21, at Royapettah, made it a point to help the conductor. Within a few minutes of boarding, they began to pass around the tickets issued by the conductor to passengers.

In the sweltering heat, the conductor was spared the tedious job of walking about, distributing tickets. The kids were also prompt in picking up loose change dropped by passengers. The students, for a change, were a boon to both passengers and the conductor.

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That the airconditioned buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation suffer from poor patronage is no secret. Most buses are often found plying half empty.

This seems to have brought undue pressure to the crew. How else does one explain why the conductor of an AC service misdirected passengers and issued tickets to the wrong destination?

Last week, a group of passengers boarded an AC bus on route 570 and asked for tickets to the Murugan Kalyana Mandapam stop on 100-feet Bypass Road. The conductor issued tickets for Vijaya Nagar in Velachery, instead. When the passengers questioned, the conductor said they could simply walk to their destination from the Vijaya Nagar stop. The driver too came to his support. When one of the passengers threatened to lodge a complaint, the driver retreated and the conductor apologised. At this rate, one wonders what an unsuspecting passenger would have had to endure.

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After 10 p.m., there seem to be skeletal services everywhere, including at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

Those who arrive in autorickshaws often have to leave the patient in the vehicle and rush inside to try and find a stretcher — a process that could take several minutes, as was seen last week. There are no hospital attendants outside the casualty section, or even close by, inside. Often, crucial time is lost this way.

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Sometimes, the things we take for granted are what set us apart. At a recent event in a city hospital, a German professor commented on how, in hospitals here, the patient’s family stays with her/him in the same room.

“This happens very rarely in Germany, it is generally only the patient in the room. It is different and so nice to see the whole family caring for its loved one,” he said. As ever, the Indian family is ubiquitous.

(By Vivek Narayanan, Zubeda Hamid and N. Ravi Kumar)

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