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Pre-paid auto service at Bangalore City station

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I have been travelling to Madras and back by train quite often over the past few months and have had the opportunity to sample the pre-paid auto service about 5 times. The sample size might be a bit too small to make any conclusive statements, but here goes... All my arrivals into the city have been around 5:00 a.m. by either the Bangalore Mail or the Kaveri express. Invariably there are taxi drivers and auto drivers who greet you at the exit. Invariably I refuse. There is a reasonably long queue (30-40 people) at the pre-paid counter, but I choose to use it as it is one of the better services that I have come across. (Madras Central's pre-paid service is pathetic by comparison). I think the charges are about 25% more than the meter, but it seems worth it. I have not had any auto driver arguing at the end of the ride that what they understood as JP Nagar was something else, etc. Most of them have a nice conversation with me once they realise I speak Kannada. (One in fact told me that he prefers the night shift as he earns 50% more and gets 50% better fuel economy). However there are the usual rogue auto drivers who try to solicit customers who are waiting in the queue. Some succeed and some don't. The policeman just watches. People ought to realize that this will succeed only if the majority use the service. So far it seems to be working. So please, use the pre-paid even if it means waiting 10 mins more. Srivathsa

Comments

tsubba's picture

auto

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178 users have liked.
sri, thanks for posting this. my take is this: autorajas are short charging themselves. they do the same service as BMTC drivers and yet donot enjoy the same long term benefits. no pensions, no health care, no work-life balance and so on. they are organized for all the wrong reasons. as quazi-public transit units they must be under some central authority, that gives them meaningful benefits, like pension and organizes them with aim to solve transit problem of the city. it is very difficult to hire an auto to konankunte for example. eazyauto was good first step. but nobody stepped in and it died due to lack of patronage. the funny part is autos are a multi crore/ day business. need somebody like infosys, KPMG to look into this business, analyze it and get the govt. to lobby the BMTC and auto unions to organize better. i honestly believe it can all work out better for all concerned, including us. only, need gvt to get serious about educating.
Vasanth's picture

Tata Ace Based 7 seater Auto on a sharable basis

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144 users have liked.
Tata has recently launched a 7 seater auto ( 8 seater including the driver ). This running to selected areas with door to door service can be good on pocket and decrease the number of autos on the road. Also the vehicle is much more comfortable than normal auto. Also 7 members of a single family can travel together. Some authority has to introduce this. This can also be effective feeder for upcoming metro providing door to door service on a sharable basis as per the CVIKASH's proposed model.
City.Zen's picture

Tata Ace as minibuses

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149 users have liked.
Excellent idea, Vasanth. This will greatly reduce traffic congestion and waiting period at the various bus stops. But there might be protests from auto drivers and owners as well as BMTC itself. However, such private services in the form of Matador vans, Jeeps, etc. do already exist on many routes throughout Bangalore, if I am not mistaken. What we need to do is promote these Tata Aces extensively to reduce the autorickshaw menace and number of vehicles on the roads.
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Tata Ace mini buses as a fund raiser to Praja

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159 users have liked.
Maybe Praja can present the idea to the marketing dept. at Tata Motors who will jump at the potential of this idea. Praja, if at all funds are necessary for its future activities, can sell the idea to them, help them implement it, and maybe advertise the portal on these buses for free. City Zen
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Shared autos in Calcutta

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136 users have liked.
The one city that I have seen shared autos work quite well is in Calcutta. I studied in Calcutta from 1994 and 1996. With money always in short supply :), using shared autos was the way to go. I remember paying about Rs.1.50 for a distance of 3-4 km. They plied on fixed routes and would carry about 5 passengers - 3 at the back and 2 in the front (one on either side of the driver). A long bench in front, instead of the seat, enabled this. I think shared autos are an excellent idea to cover areas where buses don't ply or ply infrequently. I have seen 7 seater autos now in Madras. Let's say we have shared autos from JP Nagar 7th phase (where I live) to Jayanagar 4th block - a distance of about 5 km. At Re.1/km and 7 passengers, the chap makes about Rs.35/trip (at full load) and with a load factor of about 75% about Rs.25/trip. If there is a turnover of about 1.2-1.3 (people getting on and off along the way), he can make about Rs.30/trip. 10 round trips/day - Rs.500-600. 10 round trips means about 70 people going and 70 people coming back and 8 hours. Not impossible. Costs will be - 100 km worth diesel - lets say Rs.180, depreciation/rental - 150,maintenance -Rs.50. he still has about Rs 220. For the commuter, it means paying rs 5 instead of Rs.30. Even at Rs.1.50/km it makes sense for both parties. So why do we not see this in practice? a. It takes a fair bit of organizational skills to do this. Someone has to bell the cat and get a pilot working. Maybe the Metro will be the catalyst for this when the stations serve as captive markets. b. Backlash from the auto drivers themselves. But they can be part of the solution, assuming someone shows them the economics and success stories from other cities. Again - who will bell the cat? Our government did not even make governors mandatory and dithered on the helmet rule because the people were against it. So expecting leadership from them is a bit far fetched. On getting private players into the city, one needs to tread with great caution. Blueline should serve as a good warning (though our own Blue buses are not far behind). Only a company that has a reputation to maintain should be allowed. I am sure the Tatas must have had this on their portfolios of ideas and not taken it up for some reason - too much red tape, not in line with their business strategy. Else a captive market of 1 million motorbike riders is too good to leave. BMTC is making a lot of money - I would suspect more because of its monopoly status than because of efficiencies. Being profitable is good - but they need to plough back the money into the system. Sorry for a long comment. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Tata Aces - An opportunity for Praja to bell the cat

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137 users have liked.
Srivathsa, your lengthy post is to the points and could not have been shortened. How about co-ordinating between Tata Motors Marketing and Auto Owners Association and facilitate a meeting of the two face-to-face ( even if nothing else, we would get to know if they had thought and pondered over about this)? As you said, "But they (Auto owners) can be part of the solution, assuming someone shows them the economics and success stories from other cities. Again - who will bell the cat?" I wonder why We the Praja cannot make a PP presentation? A good opportunity for us to test a small project? City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Involve BMTC too

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154 users have liked.
I believe that BMTC is one of the better-run State-owned corporations in the country with many innovative experiments to its credit. Here is something they might want to experiment. In many places, the bus-owners lease out the vehicles to the actual operators, (the conductors and drivers) which solves the problem of seepage of collections. This seepage of ticket revenue is rampant in Bangalore city buses. BMTC can do a pilot on encouraging the entrepreneurial-spirited drivers and employees amongst its staff and lease them out with Tata Ace or similar 7-seaters. City Zen
City Zen

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