BMTC buses should never overtake each other. Stop revenue target for Drivers/Conductors.

BMTC buses should never overtake each other. Stop revenue target for Drivers/Conductors.

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Venkatraman U started this petition to Sri. N.V Haris MLA Chairman BMTC Karnataka and

Fourteen passengers, including 4 women sustained injuries, when the BMTC bus (route 180A KHB Colony to Kaval Byrasandra) toppled on West of Chord Road in Rajajinagar in the morning on Mar 27, 2019. Both the conductor and driver were among the injured. A case has been registered and inquiries are underway by the police as to what caused the accident.


The bus driver Ninje Gowda reportedly lost control of the bus and the front wheel went up the divider causing the bus to fall.


"Initial statements from the bus crew indicate that the incident happened when the driver tried to save the life of a biker. However the investigation is on. The bus crew were injured and are undergoing treatment", said a BMTC official speaking to The Hindu.


"We have taken up a case against him. But as he too is injured and admitted to hospital, we are waiting for him to recover before we arrest him and investigate further", an officer said speaking to The New Indian Express.


This incident simply brings to light the pitiable situation of us, the general public, with regard to the driving habits of the bus drivers of BMTC, which is the life line mass transport option that we have in Bangalore City.


If we try to root cause, we see many reasons that make way for such incidents to happen. Pot-hole filled roads, unscientifically designed speed breakers and dividers, negligent driving by few citizens and bus drivers, unmanageable traffic, road rage etc.


This petition addresses one of these top problems, proposing a small change, urging the authorities to take this into serious consideration.


The driver's mind-set has this constant background component, "meet today's ticket-fee collection target and/or maximize incentives from today's rides" (I'm not sure if crew is given incentives for higher collection, but from their behaviour, it seems like they are).


Due to this constant mindset of the crew, we always witness every BMTC bus racing with every other BMTC bus, especially if their route number is same! This behaviour/pattern adds a huge pressure on the already delicate scheme of things we have with the traffic situation in our city, and tremendously increases the probability of accidents, because huge vehicles are constantly in race with each other.


We should put an end to this competition mindset of the crew, instead of arresting and penalizing them after allowing such incidents to happen. In this particular incident, initial investigations reveal that the driver has deviated from the original route. There's a possibility that the driver could have deviated to avoid student pass holders at Vivekananda College stop. Even if this is not true, we wouldn't be surprised if a driver did that, because his job/performance/salary/perks directly benefit from such a short cut.


We should change this. There should absolutely be no targets for the crew to meet with respect to ticket collection revenue, and definitely no incentives for more revenue collection if such a thing exists.


A BMTC bus overtaking another BMTC should be strictly banned, and exceptional situations that arise should need clear justification by the crew. This should be checked by the control room using GPS data from all the bus.


We should explore more refined goals/targets for the crew to achieve. We have much better technology today. More punctuality, more disciplined driving, less passenger complaints, better passenger rating per bus (includes maintenance of seats, AC etc.) should become the targets/goals for the crew, instead of age old revenue collection metric. Bus Timings and frequency should come from a machine learning algorithm approach that learns from passenger/utilization data, trying to make all trips as much full as possible, instead of placing this overhead on the crew.


I believe this step is a low hanging fruit in our efforts towards making roads a safer place for all of us. I request fellow citizens to think about this problem/solution and support the petition if it makes sense, and I humbly request the authority and the decision makers to think though this aspect/gap and if it is convincing enough, please bring in this change for the benefit of all of us who are using the roads in Bangalore City. 


Thanks,

Venkatraman U

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