At 9 .30 am on a Saturday, the chaos at Broadway bus terminus resemble those at a much larger, moffusil bus terminus.
Buses enter at great speeds without following any lane discipline, and passengers run from pillar to post to identify the bus they need to board. Broadway is not the only terminus where this happens on a daily basis. Most of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (MTC) depots and bus stands in the city are as unorganised and tumultuous.
“A complete lack of supervision has given freedom to bus drivers to act however they please and take the route they consider the shortest to reach their destination,” said a T. Ramesh, a bus commuter.
Mr. Ramesh boarded bus route 47 on Sunday, and to his surprise the driver skipped the Little Mount bus stop and headed directly to Maraimalai Adigal bridge in Saidapet. “From Velachery Main Road he headed directly to the bridge. I was wondering about the plight of commuters at the Little Mount bus stop,” he said.
Mr. Ramesh added that a similar incident had occurred on Monday, at 9 p.m. He was aboard bus route 27B between CMBT and Triplicane. “The driver lost his way and chose his own route to reach Spurtank Road.
This would not have taken place had there been proper supervision,” he said.
S. Inayathullah, a senior citizen who boards a bus to at Central Railway Station in the night to reach his home in Parrys, said that most of the time the buses do not enter the railway station premises after 10 p.m. “We are forced to run to the main road. Most of the buses do not enter the Egmore Railway Station, but stop at Poonamalee High Road after 10 p.m. I experienced this while waiting for bus route 17D,” he said.
Mr. Ramesh said that on Sunday, bus route 19G between Parrys and Kovalam, was full of passengers waiting to get to their destinations. But the first stop the driver made was to fill fuel. “There is no consideration for the passengers. The staff and branch managers were not even bothered,” he said.
Commuters also asked if there were any officials at all to monitor buses, and if so, whether moniroting took place. “Sometimes we spot ticket inspectors, but that apart, I have not seen any other official who checks the condition of buses,” said T. Ravikumar of the All India Train and Bus Passengers Welfare Association.
He said that even digital boards in most buses did not work properly. “If there is proper supervision, errors and repairs can be spotted and dealt with,” said Mr. Ravikumar.