After starting to use BMTC buses, one of our federation members, Jayvant Anantpur, wrote a nice article why we should still use BMTC instead of our personal vehicles in Bangalore. Read on…
I agree that we should try to use BMTC as much as possible. I have been trying to do that for one year now and have successfully figured out how to commute by BMTC from Bellandur gate to IISc (between Malleshwaram & Yeshwantpur).
I won’t say the bus rides are very smooth etc but when compared to driving my car or going by auto/taxi, I think going by BMTC is a winner.
I wish the infrastructure development starts with footpaths, bus stops, dividers etc and not just flyovers all over the place. I am sure with proper footpaths and bus stops (with info about bus timings, maps etc) more people will think of using public transport system.
One day I wrote the following after getting frustrated with the bus service. BUT I have still not given up on BMTC.
Here are some of the advantages of travelling by buses:
1. You can increase your height and become thin – Most often the buses are so crowded that you get pushed from all sides and the only way your body can react is by growing upwards – No need to spend on medicines etc which have lot of side effects.
2. You do not need to go to gym/aerobics etc – Your body will get enough exercise as you have to
a. walk/jog/run to the bus stop – which itself has lot of benefits – not the usual ones but
i. you will know how to walk not bumping into other people, vehicles – both parked (legally and illegally), animals, garbage, pot holes and lot of other things. This is an excellent skill to have.
ii. Some times you will have to jog/run to the bus stop with a bag in your hands or on your back – again this combines weight lifting plus jogging and that too in real life situations and not in the artificial environment of gyms.
b. jump in and out of a moving bus without getting run over by other vehicles or falling flat on your face – very few people on earth can do this successfully. This needs tremendous amount of coordination from all parts of your body.
c. you have to tightly hold on to some fixed part of the bus to avoid falling on your face. Due to the jerky bus movements in all possible directions, your body will get enough stretching exercises – No need to do Yoga also.
d. You can do some breathing exercises also e.g. hold your breath for as long as possible as you may be standing next to someone who is ‘under-perfumed’ or ‘over-perfumed’. You can get some business ideas also e.g. the best perfume/deodorant for bus commuters
e. how to balance on one leg with only part of the body inside the bus – you will learn more about center of gravity here than in any other experiments. You will save lot of money by not going to a gym.
3. You will learn how to make quick decisions – most often you will see 2-3 buses coming one behind the other with very similar route numbers – e.g. 342F, 342MA, 342Q
Your brain and memory should be very active to be able to figure out which bus to take considering
a. how crowded each bus is – which itself is not easy to figure out – you need very good eye sight.
b. where you need to get down if you take that bus – how that affects your next journey – bus/walk e.g. connecting bus stop, footpath for walking etc.
c. how much is the ticket for that bus – there are at 4-5 different bus services. Do you have enough change in your pocket, is your bus pass accepted in that bus?
You need to do all this in a very short time as you need enough time to run to the bus – buses do not always stop at the bus stops – you may have to run for 10-15 meters
with all kinds of hurdles around – some are life threatening like moving vehicles etc. I am sure even the best of brains will have a tough time figuring out the best option.
I think bus commuters have less chance of suffering from diseases which affect brains.
4. You get to hear different kinds of music, languages, dialects, conversations etc. This will certainly help you improve your language skills, knowledge of music, train your
brain to focus on one thing (song, conversation, sight etc) when there is lot of distraction, and all this for free.
5. You can even sleep peacefully (???) and be fresh when you reach office/home and be more productive. Lot of times you get enough support from passengers sitting and
standing around you so that you can rest your head against that support – you can also support others this way – public service !!!
6. You can make friends with fellow passengers and be part of a real network instead of being on one of those web based networks. You do not need create a new account,
do not need to remember your password, not need to worry about someone hacking into your account etc and there is no log of the conversation that you have with others.
If you believe in fairy tales – you may find your life partner in the bus or find someone you admire (politically correct word) a lot.
7. You learn a lot of money matters
a. Whether to buy a monthly pass or day pass or a ticket or just pay some amount to the conductor or not to buy a ticket and risk being caught.
b. How to use the ‘change’ you have in your pocket so that you will enough of it for your next bus journey.
c. How to make sure that you get the exact change back from the conductor – need quick calculations – a big achievement considering the distractions, crowd etc.
d. Lot of times conductors do not return the change/remaining amount immediately but write it on the back of your ticket and you are supposed to collect it before leaving the bus.
This helps you improve your memory.
e. How to protect your wallet in the crowd – one of the most important skills.
8. You do not have to worry about traffic police stopping your bus for any kinds of traffic violations be it speeding, driving recklessly, illegal stopping, blocking traffic….
Buses are invisible to traffic police – this is the conclusion I have drawn, so if you want to have this benefit buy a bus.
9. You can travel by A/C vehicles – this help you maintain a cool head – the a/c vents are right above your head and can not be closed.
There are plenty of other benefits which I have not mentioned due to lack of time and space 😉
Now tell me is there any other activity that has so many benefits – oh I did not mention the obvious ones like help reduce pollution, traffic etc.
So when are you starting to travel regularly by bus?