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Auto's - good, bad, or ugly?

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Public Transport

Auto's, by virtue of their easy maneuverability, are easily the biggest menace on the city roads, and the cause of all the chaos on them. Their de-merits as a public transport vehicle far out-weigh their merits.

Mail exchanges (between 10th June and today) in a Yahoogroup.

Mr D's initial comment:

Good news ! Autos and Taxis are public transport too.

When there's no (or an inconvenient) bus service to a place, just go ahead and use an Auto or taxi with a clear conscience.

Bangalore has about 1.5 Lakh autos (out of 31 lakh total vehicles).
- An auto is constantly on the move, travels about 150 km. each day. Occupies parking space only when the driver is eating or resting. As against this a person in a car travels maybe 20 km. a day on an average, but uses the same amount of road space as an auto for parking the rest of the day.
- An auto's mileage is 2-3 times more than that of a car (Maruti 800 13 km per litre, big car 8 kmpl). Runs 20-25 km. per liter of LPG (all autos in Bangalore run on LPG).
- LPG is a cleaner fuel than petrol or diesel.
- Per passenger kilometre, an auto emits way less pollutants and uses less energy than a car or bike
- In addition, in terms of absolute total CO2 emitted, autos are a small fraction of the total - they form just 5 % of the vehicle population.

Autos are noisy and some of them emit a lot of smoke, but this can be rectified by proper enforcement of laws.
- The noise is because drivers tamper with the original factory-fitted silencer to get more mileage.
- The smoke is because they put excess oil to prolong engine life. Next time just notice how many autos have no visible exhaust gases at all - this is how it should be.

Autosare actually a very innovative transport solution for our country. It's seriously stupid not to allow them in the new airport.

 

Ms K's response:

Thanks Mr D for making me lose the guilt feelings I always have whenever I go by Autos. We should also push with theTransport Secretary, Mr. Tripathy, to allow larger, shared, poin-to-point, 8-seater autos. They could also introduce a caller system to an auto service to take us to the nearest bus-stand or wherever we want to go etc., like they are now doing for the BIAL buses.

Response by Mr N

Hi Mr D

Yes, autos can be considered part of public transport provided they are integrated into the
transport system and certain laws are enforced related to their emission and noise.

However, I have to differ with you on certain points and provide correct picture.
- mileage : bikes, even 150 cc bikes such as my Unicorn (which gives 45+kmpl) are much
more efficient, especially as most of them are 4-stroke now, than autos - auto's have
very low mileage - just about 15 kmpl of LPG (verified with many auto drivers). So,
even with LPG, they aren't anywhere near the efficiency of bikes. Their mileage is
in the range of that of a regular small car.
- very few autos in Bangalore currently run on LPG, certainly not all.
- emissions of autos, except the 4-stroke autos (whether they are petrol-based or
LPG-based) are much worse than those of bikes, which are mostly 4-stroke now,
in Bangalore. Most 2-stroke autos are very polluting because of the addition of excess
engine oil, as you pointed out, plus the fact that 2-stroke IC engines are less
efficient than 4-stroke ones in burning the fuel (so the unburnt hydrocarbons are emitted
as visible smoke). In the two-wheeler segment, 2-stroke scooty's are the emission
culprits.

So, if the govt can phase out 2-stroke autos and help the drivers/owners purchase the
more expensive 4-stroke versions, and enforce certain emission/noise/ tampering related
laws, then certainly they can be more useful as public transport.

 

My addition

Auto's, by virtue of their easy maneuverability, are easily the biggest menace on the city roads, and the cause of all the chaos on them. Their de-merits as a public transport vehicle far out-weigh their merits. Many an expert has repeatedly recommended the phasing out of this (on top ugly) contraption by gradual switch-over to four-wheeler taxi's, if required, even with providing incentives in whatever form.

The above apart, the auto connotes a certain unique lumpen culture, which hopefully could change for the better with the upgradation to four-wheelers.

Mr D's response to my posting

Have mercy on me man !

I already have big problems entering the gates of 5-star hotels, clubs and posh restaurants with my bicycle. I don't hang out at such places habitually, but I do have to go to them to meet clients and such.

By this logic the experts will one day ban me and my bicycle because of our maneuverability, and being lumpen.

The dictionary meaning of lumpen:
1. Of or relating to dispossessed, often displaced people who have been cut off from the socioeconomic class with which they would ordinarily be identified..
2. Vulgar or common

We're actually talking about throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. Why banish the auto instead of fixing the few (and very fixable) problems that it has ?

 

My response:

South Mumbai, the Municipality area if I am not too wrong, has long ago banned the auto, and is much better off for it. The fix required is reliable and efficient public bus transport services, backed by 4-wheeler taxies. Mumbai has both of these. Bangalore could do one better by providing for effective competition to BMTC (which will never improve otherwise), and facilitating phased switch over to the 'nano' by auto's.

If we can turn Bangalore into an Amsterdam, cycling would be fine. But, I would not venture out on a bicycle beyond say, my Koramangala, except on holidays. I would prefer to take a bus, provided there's a good service.

And, what's the connection between the bicycle, lumpen and 5-star hotels? Yes, no particular section has a monopoly over any specific culture, if that's what you mean.

PS: Rather than impose this discussion on the other members of this group, I will take it to http://praja.in/, where more of whoever else interested in the subject can contribute.

Ms D's comment:

Though i had made up my mind to keep away from this debate, wrong interpretation of Bombay's example is making me speak out.

I have lived in Bombay for 22 years and that is where my parents continue to live. It is with this authentic experience that i would like to share my views....

Reasons why autos are not allowed in South Mumbai:
Autos were initially started only for the Suburban areas. and that has remained. Hence the main city (Churchgate to Mahim and CST to Sion) do not have autos.
The Taxi lobby is very very strong and has ensured that the autos do not get to the city areas.

Autos are amongst the most important public transport system in Bbay.
Most ppl in bbay would love to see the autos in south mumbai as well, as they are very cheap to travel in and the next best option to buses on the roads. The meter for the minimum distance is just Rs.9, while taxis/cabs charge Rs.13 for minimum

For those who are from economically weaker backgrounds, autos are the best emergency vehicles to reach hospitals. They reach slum pockets, (where ambulances cant reach) with great ease even though the roads are winding and narrow. They are affordable.

Unfortunately most good govt hospitals of bbay are in south Mumbai, and for very very long the public has been suggesting that auto services should be extended all around the city.

Kindly verify information on other cities before quoting them wrongly!

 

My response:

Hi D

I got this information from a Bombayite, who comments extensively on traffic issues. He and his lot are happy to keep the auto out. You may say he is part of the taxi lobby, and he will say you are part of the auto lobby. So, there are interpretations and interpretations. With the pro-auto lobby unable to convince the duly elected government of Bombay into following the practice north of Mahim, I suppose anti-auto lobby's interpretations have greater validity, currently atleast. Part of democracy, right?

Likewise in Bangalore, the the auto lobby (alongwith the car and two-wheeler lobbies) is apparently in collusion with the BMTC mafia ( perhaps not the most appropriate word), to keep effective competition out, aided by citizen apathy. With the present poor bus services, the dependence on the auto is steadily on the increase, leading to transport costs forming a sizable chunk of monthly family budgets, particularly of the poorer sections of society.

Do you want to bother with that?

 

Mr NS adds

Hi

The auto lobby is very very strong here and if any one hopes to fix anyone of the problems with them, they are day dreaming.

Also its not entirely correct that autos are less polluting. Check any auto and you will still see the fumes coming out. Maybe they are better compared to diesel cars but no way are they even close to clean.

Meter tampering, refusal to come to any location(they refuse to come to even MG road now) and their penchant for picking up fights on every trivial issues makes them a total No-no. In the night,they are a public threat rather than public transport.

Mr S adds

I have been sporadically following this discussion over the last few days.

I think there have been a lot of "pouring of opinions". People have spoken. But nothing beyond that has happened. Doing all kinds of analysis is very nice. But, if there's anybody who's really interested about doing something about vehicular pollution then instead being an arm-chair intellectual why not DO something about it? Go out there on the field and start something. And once you have started something, I am sure others will follow you. But analysis without concrete action is a sign of apathy for me. You may disagree with me. Go ahead talk it out again.

 

I respond:

Yes, that's indeed the aim of http://praja.in/. I have migrated the discussion there for those who may want to take it forward, also through action.

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

narayan82's picture

Unions - a block

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The problem with enforcing law on autos is the mob mentality. Once a SI fined an Auto for cutting a one way within 15 mins there was a protest on the main road by 150 odd autos affecting traffic movement! In my opinion Autos are way over the number that we should ideally have. Autos ideally must play outside the CBD and congested areas. These guys park anywhere, drive in whichever direction they feel like and ant whatever speeds they desire. They are unsafe to travel in, and often fleece an individual. I have realized that after 9 pm it is cheaper to use a call taxi then an Auto. W.r.t to BIAL, Banning Autos is sensible. Such long distances are not feasible for them and they behavior at the terminal is annoying to passengers. And it encourages the bus which is a way better option. The bigger question is though, how can we change the Auto Drivers way of functioning? There seems to be no answer. Enforcement does not work. What if public decided to go for a strike against Autos? 2 wheeler riders startedg giving lifts...? just a thought..
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
GNT's picture

BAIL vs Hyderabad International - Autos

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I flew a couple of times out of the new Hyderabad International.

 They allow autos to the airport and the airport provided a different pick up and drop off point for the autos. The traveller has to walk about 1-2 KM to reach the boarding area (and has to walk up on a ramp. They never thought of the old people, people with kids, with luggage..etc. I hope they will provide elevators from the ground level to the boarding level for these.)  

Having a different bay away from the pick up and drop off of the cars seem to be working fine, except for the point I mentioned above.

I recently moved back to this city and travelled by autos a few times. As I wrote some where else on this site, I can tell you that I thought of religion, God, my loved ones and my blood pressure more than a few times when travelling in autos.

I have decided not to board autos as a principle, unless it is absolutely necessary. I am much more comfortable travelling by bus.

Metro is competition

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I was speaking on general terms with an auto driver and he was of the opinion that when the metro comes, a lot of buses, autos, cars, two wheelers would become redundant. He said that a monthly pass in the metro would cost as much as what a current BMTC pass costs.

But he was kinda optimistic when he said that many people might still use autos instead of cars since the cost of cars would increase when there are high petrol / diesel prices. 

bangalore-guy's picture

my 2 cents..

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I have had two very distinct experiences with Autowallahs.

One was at the Forum Mall, on the Big Bazar side. I was standing on the footpath just outside forum and was surprised to see that the footpath was being used by the auto wallahs as the pickup point, one auto came speeding and braked just inches from me and came to a screeching halt. Delay of a second and I would have been hit. I was angry and questioned the auto wallah. He said " did I hit you ". I picked up a fight only to realize the sheer number of auto drivers who started abusing and stopped it there and then and moved out of the place to avoid more humiliation. But it was a real bad experience.

Another time, I had a few visitors at my place and we decided to go to Iskcon from jayanagar. We took auto both ways. But there was a huge difference of around 30-40 rupees while coming. On questioning the auto wallah started telling "saar one ways.." I was aware of the one ways and difference in distance due to them. But the difference was certainly not so much to make the meter jump like that. I got suspicious and told him your meter is faulty. He seemed to be a little silent after that. Then I told him I am not paying you more than x amount. He was annoyed and started protesting. I asked him to come to the police station and get his meter checked. he thought I would not know which police station to go to. On seeing that I knew the place pretty well. He gave in and said saar pay what you want to, we are just making 10-15 rupees more.. I paid him the same amount I paid while going and he didnt utter a word.

Refusing to go to places is a common thing for autos in bangalore. Even if you ask them to come to majestic they will say pay me 20rupees more I will not get any passengers on the way back. Now if he cannot find passengers form majestic I seriously doubt if he is fit to drive an auto.

I have heard good things about autos in mumbai, not sure if all of that is true. But they dont refuse to take passengers in most cases. 

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

bangalore-guy's picture

they are the ones who lose income because of their behavior..

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There is a dire need of some information sharing with the auto folks of bangalore. They need to understand that they are the ones losing the most due to their rude behavior and un inviting stance.

If they can understand. I have seen many people who tend to buy their own vehicles just because they do not like to deal with the auto wallahs. Now if the behavior is good and service prompt people will tend not to buy private vehicles. And keep using the auto services.

They need to think of the huge income they are losing because of people buying private vehicles.

The auto union needs to be made aware of the facts and provided with some basic training  so that they can spread the message among their own fellow men.  It will be a win win deal for everyone. They will be able to make more money, people will be happy to use autos and not spend a bomb on private vehicles and our roads can be kept free of un-wanted private vehicles.

There was an initiative called Easy Autos some time back and I had registered for the same. I am not sure if that is still functional or has gone down the drain.. it would have been a good service. 

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

narayan82's picture

Autos have to blame themselves

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During the course of the Metro Project Commencement, Autos once went on strike, saying Metro would put their jobs at risk. I pay no attention to their claims. A citizen deserves a quick safe and affordable method to get from A&B. This cannot be compromised upon due to unemployment issues. My few rides in Bombay has shown how good Auto Drivers and service can make traveling so easy. I have NEVER been over charged, never taken by a longer route and never been declined - maybe its just my luck but i have heard similar stories. Moral is, it is possible to drive an Auto, serve the passenger and make money. What can the solution be to these Bangalore Autos? It seems like its something no one wants to Tackle! I guess Metro and Mono Rail/BRTS could solve it to some part, but what about enforcement?
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Nags123's picture

Apart from over charging &

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Apart from over charging & taking longer route, it is tampered meter is also a problem.  Most of old metered auto are tampared. Whenever I get a chance, I prefer digital metered ones. But situation Bangalore is far far better compared to Chennai auto. They do day light robbery.(If you happen to take an auto to any consulate/embassy they charge as high as 40-50 bucks for 1-2 kms
murali772's picture

auto's with number plates only in Kannada

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An interesting bit of information, that a lady posted on a Yahoogroup and something that not many people seem to be aware of, is that over half the autos with Kannada number plates have Maharashtra, AP, Tamilnadu or Kerala registration numbers. She went on to add that, each time she engaged them, she was invariably left suspecting the veracity of their meter reading.

In the first place, these autos have no business to be operating in Karnataka, and on top of it all, they are up to all kinds of nefarious activities. The irony is that, as long as the number plates are made out in Kannada, the Kannada Rakshana Vedike lot seem to be quite happy to allow these non-Kannadiga's to ply their trades in Bengaluru. But, in the process, they and the Bengaluru Police are putting the lives of the law-abiding citizens at grave risk.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Photoyogi's picture

Metro is *not* competition

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mcadambi, I dont think the METRO or BRT (?) will be competition, Yes the long trips will reduce, but you will have equally larger no of short trips.
Look at Mumbai, most of the people travel by train for long distance then hop onto a rick to get to the doorstep of the final destination.
There are almost equal no of trips back to the station.
-- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

pradeep's picture

ban autos in bangalore

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I seriously think  that all the autos in Bangalore should be banned which reduces the traffic problem.

Regards,

Pradeep

“An act of charity by the citizens questions the worthiness of the government.” 

rs's picture

Menace of Autos

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I feel that autos are really bad for several reasons - 1.Noise pollution - most autos remove their silencer to increase power and make a terrible racket. 2. Air pollution - the autos are supposed to be changing to CNG but that does not seem to be happening. 3. Traffic congestion - in Mumbai the moment you enter the area where autos are allowed traffic comes to a standstill. In Bangalore they drive on the wrong side of the road, stop or turn without warning. Cruise slowly and obstruct traffic when looking for customers...... 4. The auto drivers - They drive recklessly and think they are doing you a favour by taking you to the destination. No professionalism. I had a guy who, after refusing to take me the 3km I wanted to go said - `what ? Do you think we are supposed to go where you want us to go ?' Though I suppose its still better than Chennai... All in all, if they had good autos with some controls on their quality and professional drivers who actually know how to drive and follow rules it would be a great thing - but as things stand its more of a menace than a convenience.
bangalore-guy's picture

autos are not needed, they are just a bit untamed.

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I cannot agree to any such claims that say that we should do away with autos. They are  very much needed. Just that they need to be disciplined a bit.

As praveen (photoyogi) said they are needed for the last mile connectivity.

Even after we have good public transport mechanisms like BRTS and metro, autos will still be needed and will provide last mile connectivity. But unless they are brought to some sort of discipline it is going to be a tough survival for them. Coz they are themselves to blame for any loss in income.

I have said earlier and will say again. If they can bring some amount of discipline and courteousness added with honesty they can go a long way in gaining confidence of the passengers.

I still remember my first visit to bangalore 10 years back. Having reached at 2 am in the dead of the night with just an address slip in my hand I was able to depend on the auto driver to find me the place and drop me safely at my destination. I cannot imagine to do so now. I hope such honesty and work ethic is followed by these men who can be of great help in providing good last mile connectivity.

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

narayan82's picture

Re: bangalore-guy

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If you reach at 0200 AM, you could do the same with a City Taxi. And he would charge you less than an Auto! Thats the state we are in now, a 3 wheeler with open sides costs more than a mini van with a stero!! Autos must me banned from the city centre. This will reduce congestion. Areas such as M G Road, Residency road, Magrath Road, Commistraat Street, Cunningham Road etc. The "Mall" special busses can ferry people around the CBD. We can start by having a BRTS on Mg Road, Residency Rd, Richmond Road, Rajbhavan Road, Cubbon Road, and have high volume busses ply on this route. Hence atleast having a regular bus frequence in the CBD. Even Taxis can be banned at peak hours. I will illustrate this in a new post.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
madhu_nr's picture

Autos need to be regulated

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In a poorly connected city like bangalore, one cannot do away with autos entirely. What we need is a strong enforcement of regulations to control their usage and behavior of the drivers. As many have written earlier, the autos are highly polluting, both noise & smoke, to which the traffic police and the authorities seem to turn a blind eye. Secondly, the behavior of the auto drivers is - in majority of cases - highly arrogant and they have a go-to-hell attitude towards the customer. They do not hesitate to cheat on any count and refusal to accept a fare is pretty common, especially during evening & late hours. They are also abusive if you question them on their fares, attitude and driving.

The answer lies firstly with better policing and enforcement of regulations. Auto unions and other bodies should accept the responsibility to train drivers in courtesy and proper behavior to clients. Today, most auto users do it because of no alternative available. A better bus service and completion of Metro should make the auto drivers a wiser lot.

Madhu

Madhu

nijavaada's picture

[Removed subject]

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Mr. Murali,

Prove that the autos that have non-KA boards are of non-kannadigas who have migrated into KA.

Prove that KRV is behind the installing of Kannada on KA autos, and support your apparent opinion that KRV should actually be behind these "straightening" acts.

I am glad for your bringing this to everyone's notice, and I personally was of the opinion that non-KA number plated autos were on the rise inside KA. But never did I have to think that the KRV not performing its "duties" was cause for that! Please post thoughts that make sense to this forum, and help others focus on the matter such that we can all reach one common intended goal.

-Nijavaada

[Nijavada, it has been a couple of times that you have been adviced against ad hominem arguments. Please do not attack the person behind the ideas that you dont agree with. The subject of this comment has been removed - blr_editor]

-Nijavaada
nijavaada's picture

Reply to the editor

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I would strongly urge to blr_editor who has been moderating this place (I guess) that there be some fairness in moderation as well. If my comment was perceived to have personal attacks, why then did the comment made by the person I mention in my comment, not edited so as to not deal with something out of locus of this discussion.

I simply dont understand this favouritism towards one person in this forum. This should not be happening in a fair place like this.

My sincere remarks.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
Mithun's picture

pictures please

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Could someone please post a sample picture of an auto having kannada numberplate - but with non KA registration?
murali772's picture

promoting the Kannada cause

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Nijavaada avare'

What I had stated was what a lady had posted in a yahoogroup, when I brought up the issue of the 'Kannada mis-use menace'
(http://praja.in/discuss/2...).
Now, you yourself do not appear to be denying that the practice is rampant. What you appear to be taking objection to (putting it rather mildly) is the presumed allegation (by me) that organisations like KRV are behind it. But, whoever said that? Not me! All I am saying is that by turning a blind eye to this rampant malpractice, both the Police, as well as organisations who are championing the Kannada cause and claiming to uphold the fair name of Karnataka (which I presume you will have no objection to my listing KRV as being amongst), are exposing the citizens to grave danger, and thereby doing themselves a great dis-service.

This apart, by not displaying route names prominently in English, alongside Kannada, the BMTC, as it is, is denying its services to the huge non-Kannada speaking floating population that flocks to Bengaluru everyday. When thus becoming dependent on the auto, if they are further exposed to hazards about which they are not even in a position to report to the police with the identity of the auto (by the registration number), I am sure, you will agree that that's not a situation that a Kannadiga can be happy, leave alone proud, about.

As such, if you have any clout with KRV and such organisations, why don't you pursue them to take up with the government to have these serious anomalies corrected. I am only doing my bit for my Karnataka. You can perhaps do a lot more.

Besdides, there lot better ways to promote the Kannada cause. Let's work together on them.

Regards,

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
vmenon's picture

autos and idelaistic solutions

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I asusme ..

a)Autos will always be around

b)There will always be a market for them.

c)They will only increase as the general population increases.

d)all efforts by the "government" /traffic police etc to get them to behave will be like every other government based initiatives , filled with sieves and malpractices.

so here goes.

--when  was the last time a traveller in an auto told the driver to follow the regulatiions /laws of driving ( apply this thot also to the IT/BPO cabs racsing around , with "educated ,concenered citizens sitting in the backseats!!)..

--The traffaic cops come down hard on the autos ( off and on) but do nothing to educate /sensitivse.What yse is the law without education.

why not  a concerted effort by civil socity , the autos customers and  organise thro their unions a sensitivatsion/education initiative..not from na holier than thou attitude , but "we need to exist together"outlook.

 ..any one for a CSR effort of their companies in this?? ..the traffic police can look on benevolently.  

--And the market economics method..privatisation of public transport ( buses) /mass transport , wherby autos will by force become a localised short trip vehicle.

told you at the start it was idelaistic!!   

     

narayan82's picture

Autos and Number Plates

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All said and done - The law is the law.

"According to Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Act (Rule 50, d), the letters of the registration mark shall be in English"

Accept it, its not the most practical placve to showcase a language (be it any!) 

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
narayan82's picture

Auto Driving a Hobby?

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I am NOT generalizing but I see a lot of Autos and their drivers idle for a very long time. Not interested in taking "savaaris" and using the Auto for Shelter! Is it that they have a primary income and Auto Driving is merely a stand by job?

I have spoken to a few good Auto drivers who say that they have to pay the owner Rs.200/day flat as rent for the Auto. Then they have fuel and maintainenece costs to bear.

I have been wanting to do this experiment for a while now, with permission. Take on a roll of an Auto Driver and see how much one can earn in one day without

  1. refusing a customer a ride
  2. no over charging
  3. Untampered regular meter
  4. Working a Day shift

The results can give us a better honest Idea of what their income levels are like. If it proves that our customers are spread out, and fares are too low, then we can take action in the right direction.

Only problem I need an Auto! 

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
shas3n's picture

Interesting

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Interesting idea Narayan! I guess you should be able to get an auto the same way a regular driver does. As I understand, there is this 'fleet owner' person who owns several autos and rents then to the drivers on long/short term basis. I guess if you ask a few auto drivers nicely, they will lead you to one. Apart from the 'newsworthiness' of this, I guess it would also help to get answers to your questions above and many others. I am not sure if you need any particular license other than a normal DL to be able to drive an auto. And of course, whoever attempts to do this has to be warned adequately of risk of potential confrontation if other auto-drivers see you as a potential threat to their interests. -Shastri

-Shastri

narayan82's picture

consequences

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Thanks Shastri I think Auto Drivers have a Permit which allows them to drive. And of course the biggest obstacle is probably the other drivers. Such an initiative is never going to be liked by other drivers. I guess it will be have to more of team then of an individual driver. Like a backup vehicle following.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
nijavaada's picture

we are talking now..

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Murali,

As I've always been saying, we need to focus on the matter that began as being the sootra for all this discussion (apparently, the one that you started!). And by reading your comment, anyone on this forum would have arrived at a fork on this thread - one continuing to head on the lines of the auto and a non-KA number plate, but still in Kannada (which is yet to be supported with sufficient evidence here) - and two, who got diverted by your mention of KRV (without much base again) and that it has not performed its duties and thats why those number plates were there!

So I had to complain and I believed your opinion was baseless when it came to alleging KRV of its underperformance in this regard!

Okay, all that aside, lets say! Now while you are trying to extrapolate this mention of KRV to the fact that a Kannada number plated Bengaluru auto, and a Kannada route-plated BMTC bus are unfriendly to the masses that flock Bengaluru everyday, you're contradicting the very intention with which we want to drive autos (or any such non-public transport) away. Do we not want to ensure there's a control over this flocking that's happening to Bengaluru? Do we not want to head towards a (developed) system where in all those who want to flock to Bengaluru, sans tourists of course, should be encouraged both by system, and by the need-to-do-so, to learn the language of Bengaluru - Kannada i.e., and then only flock here? Dont you think that should be the bit that we did for Karnataka? And to that effect, shouldn't we the Praje be thinking on such lines.. of course that's going to be a far-fetched dream, but it wont be realised if we dont put our first right step ahead today!

In saying all that I am not to be perceived as "for" this number plating in Kannada business. Right now, someone said there, its a CMV act ruling, and lo! lets have it all in English. Fortunately, there's no rule that says BMTC route info should all be in English only! But I am certainly not going to agree that given a chance we should all not wish to get that rule amended, to use the right constitutional word :)

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
narayan82's picture

My two pence...

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"Do we not want to ensure there's a control over this flocking that's happening to Bengaluru?" Sorry I disagree. You have to look at it as a Country, as a whole. People have the right to live anywhere they want, and they do not have to learn the local language. of course most people do for the sake of convenience and that is good to know. From a practical p.o.v: there are not enough public transport users in Bangalore, and if having the signs in English can improve the situation then why not? Sans Tourists, there are people who spend maybe 1 -2 years in Bangalore, and then you have the 5-6 years residents and so on. One cant expect someone to learn the language in 1-2 years (considering he has a full time job?) And at the same time, his decision to use public transport is vital to the city. We have to find the right channels to promote Kannada and Karnataka Culture. I am not say we let people over ride it and impose other cultures on us. But if we go through he right channels with the right approach we can make a bigger difference then plain simple enforcement.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Mithun's picture

a step further..

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Here is a thought (NOT written in ironic/sarcastic way): why should we confine ourselves to the country? Should we not treat all human beings as one? If migrants from neighbouring countries want to live and prosper here, we should allow it. This should not be controlled. Not only in our country, but all countries. I think people who have lived outside India would understand what I am saying. Otherwise, if we are possessive of our country and not letting outsiders live here, then the same should apply for all states.
nijavaada's picture

got my point wrong..

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Narayana82,

My point seems to have been received in the sense that it wasnt meant for! What makes you think evolving to a system (mind you, here I am talking about creating such a system in all Indian states, which BTW stand unique on linguistic grounds, and yes that is the law book too) that makes learning the local language an important requirement to migrate to a linguistic state of India, is a tabu!? Why do you think it is not necessary for these migrants to learn the language of the land - during their substantially long periods of stay.

Do you think you'll ever be able to do well speaking Kannada in Jaipur, lets say (or even in Delhi, our national capital), while you want to make your living out there? Of course with all our capacities to learn and explain, I'd say we'd learn the local language in the shortest duration. Nature, has proven you wrong here, Sir!

The coming-in of people from various states (or countries, as Mithun puts it here) should bring benefits to the land that they migrate to, and not to the migrants alone. If you disagree here, then there's no point discussing this further. Why, In fact many of the developed countries in fact put this as their first condition when accepting an immigrant - "do we really need you? and in what way will your staying here be of profit to our system"- these are the kinds of questions we proudly answer when wishing to migrate to that country - while not realising those questions are being asked for the benefit of the land we're migrating to. So I ask, by being a union of states based on different languages, we're blessed with a similar setup and we need to make use of this difference to enable equity in development of all federal states of this country.

I think what we need to understand is that being open to the world, or being a world citizen and all that doesnt mean letting go of your own language, culture and your people, but in fact it is indeed about holding onto them as tightly as possible. To that end, if you have to impose somethings on immigrants (because the system will decay, if left alone!), I dont think thats a tabu! But of course, as mentioned earlier too, if this imposition can come as a requirement or a need, then that is indeed the best way out. And to that effect we may have to get strict and straight sometimes.. not encouraging more of non-Kannada (&English) usage in public is possibly one such thing.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
Photoyogi's picture

Please stick to the topic

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As much as i love reading rants for time-pass value i think this thread is hijacked.
Friends, can we please stick to the original topic? I am sure there are other threads where the language issues can be discussed

Ping admin: i hope its ok for me to put up this post?

-- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

vmenon's picture

on liguistic/ national /geographical/ arguments

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Amazing this discussion on kananada in this day and age.. a talk and justifcation of "imposing" a language!!

The important part is that even if you want to promote kannada or any language for that matter , imposing can never work unless you want to get into a "hitler-- nazi 'mentality. that too survives for a short time frame.

How much more efficent it would be if people were seduced to a language ..by promoting a culture as compared to imposing a culture

If NGOs of a kannada promotion variety would actually do free workshops ,classes sessions on learning the language and go full hog on it.There is a government "culture department" somewhere.You can choose it to be hegemony or actaully do something intelliegent One that works ..say instead of insisting that bus signs are in a language a lot dont understand.

( on this bus system stuff..for pure efficency..a number is what is required bold and large ..not even language ..since the statistics of illetracy in india s quite known).

And someone should look at the map of bangalore and realise that w e are actually a stones throw away from tamil nad and andhra.You can have all the political borders that you want , but physical geograpghy will always prevail.

for the 21st century , look at the world map and accesibuilties ...the world is a common place ..and people will go where jobs are.

The best way of making sure a culture/language dies is to be defensive and do all the "imposing" stuff.The language stops to grow and adapt to a everchanging world.

wish I could do a marketing consulting project on how to promote the kannada language.There are so many obvious , efficent and "right" ways out there rather than one leading from jingoistc mindset.

Aaah but we live in india , i suppose!!

nijavaada's picture

some wise reflections..

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Guys,

I am not too depressed because this thread has turned towards something that is superficially entirely different from what it was originally intended to target. So now that we're talking straight from auto number-plates, to BMTC route-boards, and relating them all to covenience of the immigrants flocking in Bengaluru, and the linguistic aspect in this (in)conveniences caused, we have to but look at the federal setup from the angle that it happens to be the reason for all this jinx around us.

So, lets all read this interesting write-up once and let our thinking go on in the background on this matter.. sometimes taking a deviation from the mainstream helps get a refreshingly new (and may be helpful) perspective of the usual stuff.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
silkboard's picture

Kannada promotion - How about ...

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We meet the culture or education minister and suggest ways of promoting Kannada? While doing that, let us also learn what they have planned or are doing today. I bet getting to talk to them wont be a problem, but collecting suggestions on the best ways of promoting local language/culture via an online discussion - that may not be easy, but how about we give that a shot?

Since this thread has 3 things mixed up now, I suggest we close it. Look forwad to some members seeding a balanced post to collect thoughts on promoting kannada in Bangalore. We may need to seed two separate posts, one, the ways Mr Menon is suggesting above, second, the more direct "forcing" based ways. I am sure there are supporters and arguments for both.

vmenon's picture

let it be done ..silkboard!!

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Yup..good suggestion..going that route of closi ng this thread and opening the forci ng/seduction route sounds good.

 

But whta about the autos which murali frst put up and the bigger bmtc signs..!!

City.Zen's picture

Words of Wisdom

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Thanks for your wise words, vmenon!

Hope the real Kannada Premigalu understand and act upon this.

City Zen
nijavaada's picture

concluding words then!

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Now that there seems to be an opinion mushrooming to close this thread, I'd like to say that Bengaluru autos are definitely the most beautiful ones, but of course the matter is that some non-KA numbered autos are cropping up amidst us, and that is surely not a good development. The system that is meant to take care of such things must act, and act NOW!

There's no role of any other body in this, however responsible it might have been towards the Kannadiga masses in various matters. But if it ends up to be true that there is an infiltration happening in the pretext of autos, and with a disguise of a number plate in Kannada, these responsible bodies will anyway come into action to protect the interests of the Kannadigas at the receiving end in this matter. Even if that happens to be in the form of influencing a responsible govt. to react in a responsible manner, or otherwise.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
murali772's picture

let's celebrate Karnataka

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Nijavaada

You have addressed only a part of the problem. When I talked about the 'floating population', I specifically meant tourists. Bangalore is amongst the most visited cities in India. While you seem to suggest that any and everyone taking up employment in Karnataka, even for a short while, should first acquire a knowledge of Kannada, which stance I do not agree with, you certainly cannot expect passing tourists to acquire enough knowledge of the language to be able to read, more specifically the numerals. As such, if you believe in 'aditi devo bhava', perhaps you should take up with the KRV to have the name and number boards on the BMTC buses in English, alongside Kannada. Likewise, with auto's also.

That apart, may be you should also consider taking up Mr Menon's suggestion of celebrating the various finer aspects of the state, its language, culture, cuisine, etc, many of which are yet to be discovered by even a large section of its own people.

Admin - This is only one aspect of the 'auto' debate, which can possibly close here. But, there are many more aspects to the auto debate, and therefore, I would request that the blog remain open.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Mithun's picture

acts in the past

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Here is Some TOI report from 2001 says that autos were heavily penalized for diaplying kannada numberplates. http://timesofindia.india... excerpt: the city police have fined over 1,000 auto drivers for displaying kannada number plates in the last three months. a circular issued by additional commissioner of police (traffic) m.n. reddi directed the traffic police officials to impose fines on autos displaying kannada number plates only. If the order comes from the top, I think traffic cops will do their honest best.
nijavaada's picture

for celebration, here's my vote!

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Mr. Murali,

I certainly wish to second your opinion in this regard, and would like to bring to your attention my mention of tourists too, in my earlier comment. If tourists are the point of concern here, I'd say it leaves the much required scope for the tourism department to thrive upon, and make sure tourists landing in Bengaluru, or for that matter anywhere in Karnataka, are encouraged to, and voluntarily wish to, avail the services that the department creates.

Lets say I land in Srirangapattana tomorrow, from, say Chile! I dont know whatever a shanivaara means, and whatever a sante has to do with. But I happen to land there on a Saturday. I hope my choice of words explains the significance of this event.. Now, given this situation, I would say a developed state of affairs in the system, especially so in the tourism department, would take care of such requirements by building its own fleet of buses, taxis, autos, tongas, guides, interpreters, translators and what nots. Or suitably outsource there-in. At the end of a superb day out in Srirangapattana I have learnt why there is a shanivaara-sante held on every saturday in this fort-town, and seem to understand the real history behind such an event in this site of Kannada heritage! And all this while the shanivaara-sante didnt have to run in a new foreign language to make the tourist feel at home.

Not going into deeper details, what I wish to expressly convey here is that if we want to build a system just for the aliens flocking to this land (for tourism in this case) then I would say such a system needs to be built within such dept's (tourism i.e.) confines - which is enough to address the concern expressed here. That'll also ensure the making of a superb tourism dept., and leave the rest of the system intact. Let us not fiddle with the system that is meant for us with the reason to follow the "athiti devo bhava" adage!

Well, I had not expected you'd agree with the idea about migrants having to learn Kannada before migrating to Karnataka.. but believe me, that is the state of affairs we will have to adopt to reach the kind of developed status many european countries (who've adopted similar stands) have reached. If you think Bengaluru has a good number of people flocking as visitors, just compare the same with that of some of the tourist-visited cities in Europe, and you'll have a tough time convincing yourself they're doing something wrong! You may feel they're not "being friendly" to the tourist. But no! A tourist doesnt go to a place to expect people to speak a tongue he understands. A mature system will not be built on such an assumption, and thus we should not lay any steps in that direction at all! We should not, and we need not think that we're hurting tourists' sentiments by not displaying things, and talking to them in their language!!

But of course, by not crossing the limits of inconvenience, as a real gesture of friendliness, displaying all tourist related information in English also is definitely not a pain. Here again, I wish to re-emphasize that there's no need to display any such information in English that has nothing to do with tourists arriving in Bengaluru - I am talking about the way it needs to be in a magnificiently developed Bengaluru, not in current day! For that to happen, pressing for English too on BMTC boards is not the way to go! BMTC is not meant for tourists, and if that is indeed the case of an adventurous tourist, then in such rare occasions I am sure it opens up avenues for more tourism related businesses such as translators and interpreters. Of course again, thats the way things need to work, and we need to visualise before heading towards them.

If we think only about today, while dreaming for a glorious tomorrow, we're but doing a sin by dreaming. Let us dream big! Only then can we really celebrate Karnataka. I really liked the subject in your last comment...

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
murali772's picture

sorry, not my idea

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Nijavaada

BMTC not meant for tourists? By the same logic, auto's also? So, only taxi's!!! In essence, only the rich need visit Bengaluru!!! Sorry, I can't join the celebration that way, please!

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
spry's picture

Don't kill the goose

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we will keep fighting for the tiny issues and would miss the bigger issue. Today its NRN (our own Kannadiga NRN)who has announced that Pune would surpass Bangalore as far as Infosys is concerned..tomorrow it may be somebody else. Lets all work to make Bengaluru the best place for the industry and its citizen. We all know the contribution of Bengaluru towards the GDP of our state so dont kill the goose. Bengaluru is now a Global brand..dont try to tarnish that brand. Lets works toward getting more and more investment to our state. There are better ways to promote Kannada than writing off the English language from Bus route map. Lets all work towards promoting Kannada not be supressing other language but showing the world that "Bengaluru is beautiful and so is its language Kannada".

s_yajaman's picture

Tourists do use public transport

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Not sure why Nijavaada feels that BMTC should not be used by tourists.  Maybe he/she has reasons for thinking that way.  Even Japan now has bilingual signboards.   

In general India, Karnataka and Bangalore need to decide if tourists are welcome or not.  Is this a priority sector or not?  IMHO tourism (if managed well - as in Singapore) can give livelihood to thousands of people in undeveloped areas without the government's help.  Think Africa - Kenya and Tanzania.  Cambodia (war ravaged till recently) is using tourism to get people out of poverty.   Turkey gets 19 million tourists - India gets 4.5 million.

If tourists are indeed seen as important, it then becomes very hard to decide which walks of life need English and which don't. 

There was some discussion in the TOI a few days back on why Bangalore is not popular with tourists.  The reasons are not very hard to state - expensive hotels, tourists cannot walk around, cannot cross a road in safety, cannot use BMTC, autos take you for a ride.  Why then would a tourist spend his hard earned vacation in a city such as ours?  Things can be made tourist friendly without making them local-unfriendly.  If things are tourist friendly, it benefits a lot of us - better buses, cleaner city, safer roads. 

My two paise.

Srivathsa

 

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

Grunt work infy

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[edited out. Please avoid off topic , judgmental stuff or personal attacks without facts or first hand experiences with the person in question. - {blr_editor}] 

s_yajaman's picture

Coming back to autos

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To be fair, I have had more decent experiences than bad ones.  And to be honest, I have not had to try to hire them at 6:00 p.m. on MG Road on a rainy day. 

I am not sure why they don't get this - there is a lot more money to be made by running their autos in a customer friendly manner.  If people start having better experiences with autos, then they will use them more.  Is this very hard to understand? 

And as in any business, there is no guarantee that after dropping someone off they will always get a return "giraki".  That has been factored into the fare. 

Not sure if anyone has been to Calicut.  No fuss about meters, no fuss about not going here and there. 

Srivathsa

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

bangalore-guy's picture

they need to be educated.

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Exactly Srivathsa. They need to be made aware of the income potential they are losing out on. See my previous post above. They need to understand that they are not running a monopoly and if they dont provide the desired level of service to the people. People will buy private vehicles and use them. Who loses income ?

And we already have people talking about banning autos in the CBD. And why has such a scenario come. Because of people preferring to use private cars/two-wheelers rather than the autos. Or the auto wallahs pusing people to buy cars and two wheelers. Imagine the potential income they are losing out on. Just because they are not being able to realize the right potential and making a huge mistake.

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

bangalore-guy's picture

Do tourists mean just foriegn tourists ??

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What about the tourists from different states of our own country.

And what about the huge number of floating population coming to bangalore for short spans (2-4 years).

Do not make sections out of people and do not decide on your own as to who should use public transport and who should not. Let your establishment be open and let people decide what they want to use.

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

narayan82's picture

provide an alternative

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If Autos are behaving the way they are because they have a monopoly then why not try and break it? The same way taxis are run, starting giving certain operators licenses to operate Autos. Hence someone like Spot City Taxi or Cell Cabs can run an Auto rickshaw service. It would be cheaper than the cab and I have NEVER had an argument with a City Taxi or any taxi driver when hired for transit withing the city. The government meanwhile can have a clause that asks for good customer service, else licenses can be canceled. The problem is right now the govt has no control of the auto drivers. And from their point of view, why would they want to change? Yes, of course the Autos may create a fuss to privatization- but how long can they go on for? Maybe we have an indefinite strike for 4 days and then the loss will be to huge for them to continue so! I am sure private parties can link good customer services to great profits!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
narayan82's picture

Public Transport a Legal Right!

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The centre could in fact come up with a suggestion/bill to make it mandatory for all Public transport companies across India to display sign boards in English! May it be a tourist (National or otherwise) Student, Part time resident or a short term resident - he/she should have the right to use Public transport. As I mentioned earlier, shoving a language on people's faces is not going to gain the language nor the advocate any respect!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
spry's picture

I prefer lesser pain

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yes mcadambi, Companies are coming to bangalore becoz we have trained workforce..english speaking people. MNCs are not here to promote Kannada or for that matter any regional language..they are here to increase their profit..so we have to provide them condusive environment and in returns we will expect betterness in our living standard...we have to decide..whether we want them or ask them to look to someother place..If they can come to India from US..they can go to any other place if they dont find enough support here. Coming back to Auto, I rarely use them, as it comes down cheaper if I use my own car. Most of the time they will demand some extra money..sometime even double... dealing with auto drivers in bangalore is more pain than the dealing with chaotic road traffic..so I always prefer lesser pain ;-)) ..catching a BMTC bus on busy road is another story.."Knowingly" I don't want to risk my life..so again prefer my own car.... I know I will get slap on my face on promoting private vehicle..but again..I love my life and family...Either give me safe and reliable public transport or else allow me to use my own private car.

nijavaada's picture

watch my words please!

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I think I've been targeted for a wrong interpretation of my word. All I said was "BMTC is not meant for tourists" and I am very sure that didn't sound like this - "Tourists are banned from BMTC"!! All I meant was that BMTC currently is not a mode of transport fit for tourists (in Bengaluru) to be using.

Thinking of it practically, do you think a tourist on the fly today, with hardly any time to spare amidst his tour plan, will be able to bear the difficulty involved in waiting/catching/hanging-inside/travelling for/by a BMTC bus? Of course I do agree that it is good to plan for BMTC to be a potential mode of tourist transport, but that, as I said, is for the tourist department to think over. But IMO, I dont think a city's public transport need to be designed keeping in mind a 2-week or a 3-week tourister in town!

All said and done, of course, my comment also talked about the possibility to explore when such an event does happen when a tourist wants to use the BMTC. I dont think putting up English boards on BMTC will attract the tourist towards it!!

My basic claim is this - the way an administration works needs to be for the better of the masses that it actually is responsible for. For anything out of this premise, the admin's job is to appoint such an auxiliary body so as to make sure those problems are addressed in isolation. I definitely wont agree if you come back saying Bengaluru is a city that will survive well only when its tourism improves. The improvement has to happen in all walks, and then tourism will follow.

And, I wish to take particular exception of your comment on the rich/poor disparity you mentioned about taking buses and taxis. I think this is the stand that is making the rich to stay away from buses today in BLR. Although agreeable, a mindset that the buses are taken only by the poor, is not expected from a mind that wants to see reform. In your sense, then, do you think a poor guy will be spending so much money on tourism and come to Bengaluru? Will he not be using his money on something more important for life? I dont think your argument is congruent here. That one was surely an unconnected string!

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
spry's picture

BMTC for masses

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How come BMTC will not be for masses if they also add "english" route map alongwith Kannada routemap. If we can add English it might also be helpful for non-kannada speaking peoples without even denying the service to local masses. I am sorry but seriously I still not clear what do you want Nijavaada. Do you want to "Ban English" or "Ban Non-Kannadiga from using BMTC" or "Promote Kannada" or "Learn Kannada before stepping in to any of the BMTC bus".

-SPR


s_yajaman's picture

Please clarify

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Nijavaada, 

Not every tourist has lots of money to spend on taxis. 

What do you mean "But IMO, I dont think a city's public transport need to be designed keeping a 2-week or a 3-week tourister in town!".  What unique design elements would be there in such a system, which will help a tourist and not help a local?  Have you seen how well the Vayu Vajra service is patronized from the airport.  And it is not just tourists who use that service. 

What exactly is the problem if buses have dual language signboards.  With Kannada being in big letters and English being in smaller letters?  Does an English letter prevent us from seeing the Kannada script?  Is it a waste of paint?  How does it hurt anybody? 

Srivathsa

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

nijavaada's picture

that is exactly my idea

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Vayu vajras are not used by common public as much as it is being used by tourists - defined here as people that are using the airport. So in effect BMTC, playing the role of a tourist caretaker here, has devised an effective solution to take care of the need at the airport, even while striking a good business deal. Note that here, it is definitely required to print/display numbers/info in both Kannada and English. Both for choice and need.

But, as I've been repeating, we need to build separate systems for separate needs, and if tourism is such a need, vayu vajra happened to be a solution for this particular flavour of tourism in this case.

And hey (spry)! I never said we should ask ppl to learn Kannada before stepping into a BMTC bus. But I am definitely against the practice of people speaking to a BMTC conductor in Hindi, in Bengaluru, and then cursing him for not responding in a way they expect him to. But surely enough, the years that a non-kannadiga spends in BLR before boarding a BMTC can well be used to learn Kannada rather than arguing that it is not right to have Kannada boards on buses. Please dont mutate my comments into a weapon against me or the interest of this thread.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
bangalore-guy's picture

few points.

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1) Tourists are not only from foriegn land, we also have tourists from across the country, majority of them dont fly. They may come by train, bus etc.

2) Toursists dont go only to the airport. They also need to go around the city and vayu vajra's are not sufficient.

3) Not only the tourists but also people who come to bangalore for short durations need to use the buses. Why deny them the ability to do so. Have people on this forun not travelled to any other cities apart from bangalore for a couple of days, a week, a month or even for a year. Now if you are asking those people to learn the local language just because they are here for a few days and want to use the public transport. Sorry that is dreaming.

4) And sorry but excuse me bus boards are the last place for someone to start learning the local language. There are better ways to promote languages than to push down people's throats. I have written more on this here.

By not having signages on buses in english is definitely hurting our campaign to encourage people to use the public transport. Also, Learning Kannada or for that matter any new language, to be able to speak and understand is a lot more easier than also being able to read/write.

 

 

http://clean-and-green.bl...

vmenon's picture

since we are still on the kannada theme in an auto thread!!

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This comment has been moved here.
nijavaada's picture

how does it hurt - explained

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This comment has been moved here.

 [Admin - let us continue the discussion here. - this thread is more specifcally about Autos. Thanks]

-Nijavaada
nijavaada's picture

discussion getting hurt because of diversion

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Admin,

I think important and valid discussions (although a li'l digressive in nature from the main topic of the thread, but still vaguely related at least) that were happening on this thread got terminated because comments by some of us began to be diverted to some other page - which dint attract the attention of as many people. Hence I'd suggest that the discussion take its natural course (as long as it doesnt get way way way off its expected course, and as long as it doesnt become a 1-1 dialogue on a public forum!) on Praja forums/blogs in the interest of a healthy discussion..

-Nijavaada

[Have moved the post back - blreditor]

-Nijavaada
nijavaada's picture

how does it hurt - explained

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Srivathsa,

Let me first express my gratitude to you, 'cos you have just asked a gem of a question in your last comment -

"What exactly is the problem if buses have dual language signboards.  With Kannada being in big letters and English being in smaller letters?  Does an English letter prevent us from seeing the Kannada script?  Is it a waste of paint?  How does it hurt anybody? "

Well, to begin with, I'll safely assume that we're in the new tech era, and no paint business when it comes to plates on buses. So we're saved from going over the economics of paint!

Now comes the size difference - well to an extent it does sound strange, but in the case of Kannada, a Kannadiga would have noticed this, the font of Kannada is such that a 32-size font in Kannada matches in size with a 20-size font of the Roman character-set. So obviously we're talking about matching in size, and not font sizes. That clears another point. So I am not advocating for Kannada bigger than English or anything. I am asking for better visibility/readability of Kannada than what it is today. And if economy prohibits something, then let the size of English letters go down in size - because in the long run, we expect more people in this setup/system to be able to read Kannada.

Of course yes, I do mean to include those people that have been here for more than a year or two to be able to speak/read Kannada pretty easily. If thats not possible, one can take it for granted that this person will never make a good attempt at learning Kannada even if he spends all his life on this land. But for a person who'd learn the language within such time, there's no more thinking necessary there.

Coming back to this person who thinks he "need" not learn Kannada when living it up here.. more often than not, the reason for not learning Kannada is the perception of no apparent need to do so - because the system some people here are referring to doesnt work in Kannada, at the grassroot levels. The bus that he takes everyday, displays information in kannada; The govt. form that he fills is in English (and at some places even in Hindi) in which case he doesnt even have to flip the sheet to find a Kannada version of the form. The road signs are all in English, so he finds it easy to find his way, and drive on... but all this while one can only see that we're creating more reasons for this person (not interested case) to stay away from learning Kannada.

And for once, I would like to say that a language learnt "out there" in the field where it is used, is far better than a language learnt as a language in a classroom dedicated to teach it. So its surely a better deal we're giving these migrants, to learn the local language in a much better and more effective manner. And surely a far easier way.

So, in effect, I am not saying the opinion to have BMTC boards in Kannada only is a one-fits-all solution, but the mindset that makes one think that having it in English is the only solution to whatever problem at hand,  is going to to make things tough further down in time.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
trimurthi's picture

Engine oil and its exhaust

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64 users have liked.
Muralir Avare,

Any web link of any research on the exhaust from the polluting 2 stroke auto exhaust that you know of?

Like ppm of hydrocarbons, additives (heavy metals?) et al.
blrpraj's picture

let the signboard,number plate serve their respective functions

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60 users have liked.

Let all the buses use a consistent standardized mechanism of displaying signboards.  Let both Kannada and English signboards be prominently displayed and clearly viewable from the farthest distance possible (as per whetever distance is deemed feasible and adopted as a standard).

I find it quite amazing that some folks turn quite a few discussions into a "promote kannada" "save kannada" thing almost as if it is on the verge of extinction spoken by only a few 100 people. Friends, Kannada as a language is best left to promote itself and it will do very well for itself if it does not have outside help. Languages are beautiful, let the language take it's own course and allow it to enrich us and not get into the "promote" act.  Have the "promote" Kannada guys thought of organizing kannada skits,plays, debates and other competitions shows etc? Something to think about if you would like to promote a language, see what response you will get (who knows, you may perhaps be amazed by the response).

Otherwise we will continue to be left behind squabbling over these silly issues while other countries deliver superior, easy to use, standardized & well designed public transport systems. I think the more important questions should be what are the standards (if any) for display of route information on public transport buses - I have seen a whole variety of them... buses without sign boards, buses with signboards precariously dangling in an obtuse angle, buses with kannada scrawled over the signboard (without any route number) similar to ants crawling all over the place, buses with english route numers but the destination names in such small letters that they would perhaps require a microscope to read. Quite a few people (including me) are sometimes left clueless in their own hometown (Bangalore) when trying to take a public transport bus, but in an alien land like London are at complete ease, I was there for 4 days and completely enjoyed the public transport there hopping on and off with family in tow; it was a testament to what a great public transport network should be like.

Likewise let the number plates be displayed as per law(the motor vehicle act), end of story. I am happy that autos not following the rules are being penalized. Somebody has mentioned that in one of the earlier posts(thanks for sharing that piece of news).

Coming back to the the original topic of  autos - good, bad or ugly? Well, the bad and ulgy parts which are my top 3 complaints -
1) they sound like rockets and can put a Saturn V rocket to shame. something needs to be done about it before many people go deaf
2) when one is  near an auto,  the individual coughs and eyes water thanks to the half burnt kerosene. they are a pollution menace (air and noise pollution wise)
3) they are mean&bad drivers coming in a close third, the honour of the top 2 spots go to 1)motor cycles/scooters & 2)taxi drivers 

murali772's picture

phase out the ugly contraption

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"Three-wheelers are ugly contraptions, devoid of a scientific design as far as the safety of passengers and drivers is concerned. Manufacturing of three-wheelers in the country should stop, more so, in the presence of mini cars like Nano, which are more eco-friendly and safe for commuters. They are more useful as they don't pose a threat of imbalance unlike three-wheelers," observed Justice Ram Mohan Reddy while hearing a case related to an accident involving an autorickshaw.

Three-wheelers are more susceptible to a change in their centre of gravity, depending upon the contour of the road (since there is no chamber). For example, if a hump caused by the root of a tree is not noticed, it can lead to an autorickshaw turning turtle, a common phenomenon in most accidents, he said.
 
For the full report in the ToI, click here.
 
Reading the above, I was reminded of more or less the same words that I had used in the opening comment in this blog, way back in June '08. Now, in addition is this point about the instability of the vehicle that Justice Reddy has brought up. All in all, it's time the contraption is phased out.
 
Muralidhar Rao
abidpqa's picture

two-wheelers?

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Three wheelers are safer than 2 wheelers, by that logic, 2-wheelers also need to be banned.

murali772's picture

auto classifies as public transport

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@ abidpqa  -  The difference is that auto's (like taxi cabs) are largely used as public transport, whereas two-wheelers are used as personal transport, and consequently, the state's role comes into the picture.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

now officially designated as mafia-like operations

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He (Bhaskar Rao, former city transport commissioner and now Belgaum IGP) also feels the permit-raj for autos should end. “With a quota on number of permits, rich people purchase permits and operate like mafia. Permits are transferred for excessive prices, and excess demand and shortage in supply see auto drivers fleecing passengers, especially at night,” says Rao.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

This is precisely what I meant when I stated here that "the poor service resulting thereof promotes the auto-rickshaw raaj, which, given the various operational factors involved, can operate only like a mafia". Well, as the city Transport Commissioner, Mr Rao didn't do much to bring about any improvements in the system. But, that he has chosen to open up at least now, even though from a distance, is certainly an improvement.

Do speak more, Sir, and loudly too.

Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture

solving the pollution problem of autos

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The govt should set a long term target to transition all petrol powered autos to clean energy powered autos. Here is one example of a clean energy powered auto

http://energis.com.au/sol...

A couple of major problems can be solved by this switch - 1) air and noise pollution 2) high cost of operation due to high fuel cost.

 

 

 

Sanjeev's picture

e-Rickshaw should be the way to go in CBD area

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In Delhi, Jaipur,  e-Rickshaw  are runing, they are battery operated  and can carry 6 people.  For these   e-Rickshaw,   auto permit shoud not be issue.

Already few numbers are their in Bangalore.

Look at Delhi e-Rickshaw number : already crossed One Lakh number

"The popular e-rickshaws have, in fact, edged out cycle-rickshaws. They have overtaken cycle rickshaws in popularity and are giving stiff  competition to auto-rickshaws "

A battery rickshaw costs around Rs.70,000, while a cycle rickshaw costs around Rs.10,000 in Delhi.

They are shared  travel option in Delhi that costs much less than auto-rickshaws or cycle rickshaws.

Since these began operating in many New Delhi Municipal Council areas, they offered a large population of helpers and workers living in staff quarters with possibly their only mode of reasonable public transport.

The “silent” transport revolution ushered in by these vehicles apart, there are no laws to govern them. They are motorised and so cannot be treated like cycle rickshaws under municipal laws. They also use less power and so cannot be governed under the Motor Vehicles Rules and remain out of the purview of the Traffic Police.

Though the Delhi Government tried to regulate them through an order, it was struck down by courts. These battery-run vehicles therefore continue to run without any regulation. Perhaps that is why they continue to be a cheap mode of transport

Delhiites hope that these continue to provide the last mile connectivity, remain economical, are regulated and do not fall prey to the Inspector Raj, the way cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws did

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/the-easy-mile-forward/article5829372.ece?ref=sliderNews

Few days back Delhi High court order on reguarizing them :

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/high-court-pulls-up-govt-stop-passing-the-buck-regulate-citys-e-rickshaws-2/

Sanjeev's picture

Extreem ends of e-Rickshaw Vs Permit Raj in our Country

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The Delhi high court slammed the government and corporations on Wednesday for creating a "chaos" in the absence of a policy to regulate e-rickshaws in the city.

There is no answer under what policy they are plying.... It is (e-rickshaw) nobody's baby now," a bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Jayant Nath observed over failure of authorities to explain under which policy the battery-operated electric rickshaws ply.

HC is hearing a PIL seeking a ban on these vehicles. "Who is permitting them? You must have a proper policy for e-rickshaws -the number of people they can seat, proper space, total weight they can carry etc," the bench remarked. Presently, they ply without licences or numberplates and the PIL alleged they flout traffic rules.

The PIL seeks a ban on e-rickshaws, arguing they have no registration numbers and expose passengers to a risk as they cannot claim insurance in case of an accident. It adds that e-rickshaws operate with four batteries and are designed to carry four people, including the driver, but operators ferry more passengers and endanger lives.
 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/E-rickshaws-run-amok-govt-rapped/articleshow/32322159.cms

One side we have permit Raj for Autos where even LPG or CNG  is not made comuplsory for manufacturing or registration with RTO.

Other side we have more then One Lakh E-Rickshwa in Delhi without any guidlines.

As personally,  E-Rickshaw have changed the face of Delhi as  Cycle Rickshaw are edged out  very fast.

Even ride is very pleasent and  better then regular Auto Rickshaw as I used  two weeks back in Delhi.  Kids really enjoyed and speed is resonablly slow as the traffic moves in 30 Kms speed. They are shared E-Rickshaw.

Bangalore should adopt them with proper guidlines

 

 

MaheshK's picture

CiSTUP auto survey

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Last year, CiSTUP submitted a report on autorickshaw survey they did. CiSTUP spent Rs. 12 lakhs on this survey that took more than a year to complete. Who has the report and where is it? Under a pile may be with lot of dust on it.

I saw couple of e-auts run by batteres, ranging from Rs. 1.15 lakh to Rs 1.4 lakh. Less noise and no pollution. Hope more of them come out replacing the noisy and polluting 2- stroke autos that are stll running.

murali772's picture

unsatisfactory alternatives

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Delhi's "solar powered rickshaws" have been the subject of discussions on Praja, earlier too - check here.

In my opening post, I had stated as below:

South Mumbai, the Municipality area if I am not too wrong, has long ago banned the auto, and is much better off for it. The fix required is reliable and efficient public bus transport services, backed by 4-wheeler taxies. Mumbai has both of these. Bangalore could do one better by providing for effective competition to BMTC (which will never improve otherwise), and facilitating phased switch over to the 'nano' by auto's.

Auto's, by virtue of their easy maneuverability, are easily the biggest menace on the city roads, and the cause of all the chaos on them. Their de-merits as a public transport vehicle far out-weigh their merits. Many an expert has repeatedly recommended the phasing out of this (on top ugly) contraption by gradual switch-over to four-wheeler taxi's, if required, even with providing incentives in whatever form.


After the many years that have passed by since then, I am not finding enough reason to change that stance.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

non-smart contraption

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Prashanth (auto driver) was moving slowly on the narrow road and didn't allow space for her (Saritha) car to move ahead, though she kept honking. "The auto driver blocked my path for a kilometre. I then overtook him from the left side," she said in her complaint.
 
For the full report in the ToI, on a road rage incident, click here
 
Haven't we all experienced this, and let out our curses too (even if under the breath)? A friend used to tell me about how he had to find an auto to let out curses at, on his drive home every evening, to vent out his frustrations over the day's happenings, so that his family harmony was retained. Even if that be a laudable purpose, I am not sure, I want the auto to continue. 
 
Further, with the likes of "Ola Cabs" offering far more comfortable rides, at almost the same fare, it's perhaps time the ugly contraption is phased out. It certainly does not befit a smart city. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Time to say good-bye to the auto?

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Following were a few of the responses to my posting a link, to the above post, on a Google-group:
 
NS: The  Auto has one big advantage - women prefer it since it is safer (inhabitants are exposed to public view). Also the Auto doubles as a luggage vehicle and also occupies less road space and can be more easily manouevred than a taxi. Many potential advantages - its going to be around for quite a while longer!
 
KS: This isn't scientific but I think the auto folks are flustered. Quite a few times when I've alighted from an Ola, an auto driver nearby has walked up to me and asked from where I'm coming and how much it cost.
 
PS: I hav heard that the Expats are so fascinated by the ubiquitous Autos of Bangalore, that one guy (one of my son's friends) is planning to buy one here and take it to his native Country and have it ply there!!
 
But, jokes aside, I second the opinion that most women do feel safer in an open vehicle - where they can jump out, if needed -  than in a closed taxi. As a woman, I feel this aspect scores for me too.
 
But, many times on long drives to the other side of our ever-widening City of Bangalore, we have also felt that we should have taken a taxi as the fares are almost on par...!
 
And, even as I was beginning to respond to the posts, I came across this report in the ToI (for the full report, click here). 
 
Cab service TaxiForSure will drop fares from Saturday to a level that will turn the heat on not just rivals but also autorickshaws. The new base fare will be Rs 49 for 4km in all cities it serves, down from Rs 200 for 10km for an AC hatchback car. After 4km, the rate will be Rs 14 a km. This rate makes it cheaper than an auto for 4-km commutes in Bangalore and Chennai, and just a shade more than an auto in Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad. - - - -And that might now accelerate if commuters -who have generally felt harassed by autorickshaw drivers -turn to AC cabs for short distances.
 
The essential difference between the auto and the new-age taxi services (if I may call them that) is that all of these taxi services are in the organised sector, which will then automatically take care of factors such as safety, reliability, fare-correctness (meaning hassle-free rides), ready availability through day & night, and going by the above report, they are going to get cheaper too.  Apart from all of these, I expect, is the upgrade of the driver, as well as higher earnings for him. 
 
Just a few weeks back, I happened to engage a MERU taxi to go to the airport, my flight being at an odd hour (normally, I take the VayuVajra's). Slightly delayed along the way, I asked the driver if he could speed up. He responded saying that the cab was fitted with a speed governor, and he was already approaching the limit. Just as he finished saying that, the warning sounded too, and since it would have gone on record if dis-obeyed, he automatically slowed down. The experience has given me all the more confidence in the system. As a result, I have got all members of my family, particularly the women folk, to switch to hiring the cabs when needed, instead of the autos. 
 
I expect the above answers most of the points raised by the Google-group commentators, particularly from the safety angle. And, while easy maneuverability may be plus-point for an auto, as far as the rest of the traffic is concerened, it is the biggest nightmare, as mentioned in my opening post in the blog. Expats buying it is not for use as public transport; and even for use as private transport, it is doubtful if most advanced countries will grant them licence to operate. As goods carriers, four-wheelers offer far greater stability, an essential factor here, than the three-wheeler, and the economics aren't too significant, compared to the niusance they pose
 
All in all, time to say good-bye to the auto, particularly as cities need to become smarter - smoke and noise free too to the significant extent that the switch can bring about.
 
Similar can be the effect when organised private sector players are facilitated entry into public bus transport services too - that debate can be accessed here
 
Muralidhar Rao
ashwin's picture

Impact may vary for some cities

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While I greatly prefer Ola/Uber if I have to go some distance in Bangalore and am unable to take a bus for whatever reason, the same is not the case in Mumbai where taking an auto is a hassle free experience.

Besides the fact that the minimum fare is Rs. 17/-, I have never had to haggle with an autowallah - it is expected by both parties that the meter will be adhered to. This is as true at 5am in the morning when I am taking one to the airport, or late in the night (night rate surcharge is only 25%).

And the most amazing thing for a Bangalorean would be the fact that, if the fare comes to Rs 48/- and you offer a 50 buck note, you can expect to get the 2 rupees back as change.

Bangalore autowallahs are likely to be hit hard because of the general disenchantment with them. They are the culprits, but also victims of the poor enforcement of rules - even if there is an honest autofellow out there, he will be lumped with the rest and suffer the same fate.  

murali772's picture

Mumbai auto - a different class

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@ Ashwin - you may read more about Mumbai auto experiences (largely pleasant) here. The reasons why the Bengaluru lot will not attain those levels is also explained.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

more reasons for Bengaluru to dump the auto

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Overcharging, refusal to ply and harassment are common grouses of autorickshaw passengers. And the general perception is that they're not addressed with alacrity. - - - Another policeman said one of the city's top cops had an unpleasant experience when he encountered a rowdy auto driver. "The auto was parked at the Church Street-Rest House Cross Road junction, disturbing vehicular movement. The officer asked the driver to move but the latter refused to budge. He retorted, saying he will go only when he wants to," he said. - - - "Behaviour of auto drivers has been a serious problem. It has not only been affecting traffic movement, but also creating law and order trouble. So we conducted this drive," the officers said.
 
For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.
 
These are everyday experiences of Bangaloreans in general.
 
Well, now with bus services set to improve with organised private sector players coming into the picture (check this), in addition to expected improvements in pedestrian facilities which should help the last-mile walk, thanks to the court pulling up the BBMP (check this), apart from the advent of the smart-cab operations (of the Ola, and Taxi-for-Sure kind), all the more the reason to dump the auto. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

B'luru Tr Police vexed with auto's; Delhi govt cultivates them

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On an average, more than 2,000 cases are booked against autorickshaw drivers in a day in the city. Bengaluru Traffic Police have booked over 6.8 lakh cases against them this year, till November.

Over one lakh autorickshaws ply in Bengaluru. Till November, 6,81,467 cases have been booked against auto drivers, which is less compared to 2014, when 8,15,507 cases were booked against them. The number comes up to 60,000 cases a month and 2,000 cases a day.

M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said the offences include refusal to hire, taking passengers on longer routes, demanding excess fare, not displaying ID card, driving without wearing uniform, rash driving, wrong parking and many others. “Apart from our officials catching hold of them, we have been getting complaints from Public Eye, an initiative through which the public file online complaints,” he added.


For the full text of the report (emphsis added by me) in the ToI, click here.

Now, in the last para of my post of 10th Nov, '14, I had listed various developments creating a climate conducive to the dumping of the auto. And, now besides, there's the ZipGo (check here). But, unfortunately, there has been very little progress on any of the fronts, in the over a year since then, largely due to the strangleholds on the government by the various mafia confederations in the fields, some headed by the neta's themselves.

In the meanwhile, the news from Delhi is "The city government will issue permits to 10,000 new autorickshaws by the end of this month in an attempt to strengthen the public transport system ahead of the odd-even scheme coming into force from January 1" - for the full text in the ToI, click here. I would consider this a most retrograde step, even if they are CNG driven, for reasons already stated in detail in the various posts on this blog. I would any day prefer to cover the last mile (which can be far less than a mile, with good shuttle bus services) by walk, than depend on auto's.

Apparently, the auto-rickshaw lobby form AAP's major vote bank, and the government can't afford to antagonise them.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

perhaps time to give up on auto-drivers as one's vote bank

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He (Arvind Kejriwal) criticised the Karnataka government for not reacting to the plight of the auto drivers.

“Autos are very significant in Bengaluru. Neither BMTC nor the Metro is good. More than 40 per cent of people travel in autos which are a significant part of public transport. There are two lakh families depending on autos for their livelihood. It is the state government’s responsibility to sort out their problems,” he said. He promised to meet Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and take the matter forward.


For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Last evening, I took an "Ola share" ride which cost me just Rs 54/-, whereas a ride by an auto-rickshaw over the same stretch would have cost me at least one and a half times that. Besides, the cab was at my gate in less that two minutes of my engaging it, through the "app". As compared to that, if I were to engage an auto, I would have had to walk to the nearest auto "adda", invariably to be refused by a number of them, before one condescended to come, but at one and half times the meter charge, which would then total to more that Ola's full charge (except when they resort to surge pricing - on that, do read my comment here).

And, yesterday's Ola experience was not just a one-off case; it's become quite consistent now. Also, with the "post-ride rating" facility incorporated into the system, the drivers are increasingly seen to be polite and helpful.

The reverse has largely been the case with auto-drivers.

All in all, the Ola's and Uber's are becoming increasingly popular, leaving the autos' days numbered. Just as well, I would say, since, rather than engaging them, I would prefer to walk (that's where the need for good pedestrian facilities comes in - check here) the "last mile", or take a "shuttle service" (check here), which again is what the government needs to be facilitating now.

Well, Arvind Kejriwal perhaps banks more on auto drivers for his votes.

Also, it reminds of the times when "STD booth owners" of yore tried to say mobile phones should be banned, and even SBI staff rallied against computerisation. And, there are more who still romance the good-old ways of the good-old times - check here for more on that.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

After taking on auto lobby, can AAP govt do same to DTC one too?

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With the second phase of the odd-even scheme rolling out Friday, a section of auto and taxi unions has given a call for a one-day strike on Monday to protest app-based cab services, a move which may cause hardship to commuters in the national capital.

- - - Soni said the AAP government has so far not issued 10,000 new permits of autorickshaws which it had cancelled after alleged irregularities in their distribution.


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

So, should one think that the AAP government is finally maturing, and even prepared to take on its vote bank (which it had been pampering all this while - see my post of 4th Feb, scrolling above), when considering things from the perspective of overall public interest? One would like to believe so. The 250 odd readers' comments supporting the introduction of the app-based cab services (as compared to nearly none against) should help strengthen the government's resolve. Well, the commentators are opinion leaders, even if they may not form a vote bank, and that does matter too in a democracy.

Further, the improved mobility that was achieved through Delhi's Odd-even-1, can be achieved equally well through facilitating the services of maxi-cab operators like ZipGo (check here). For instance, if they were in full operation (in Bengaluru, where the started first, but had to abandon it because of the state government's obstructioninst ways), I can readily envisage over half the 250 odd cars in my apartment complex, including my wife's and my daughter-in-law's, remaing in the basement on any working day, achieving more or less the same result as odd-even did, when replicated across the city.

But, for that, the AAP government will have to take on the DTC mafia confederation. The Karnataka government refused to take on the local mafia confederation, since many in the government are part of it. One expects AAP government has no such issues, and going by the way it has held the auto-rickshaw lobby at bay, it has matured enough to understand what's in the overall public interest, and pursue the right path.

The country is watching.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

time to phase out auto's, but - -

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Soon, autos may be stopped from plying on busy roads of the city’s central business district.

The transport department is preparing to bar entry to the ubiquitous three-wheelers on MG Road and around the Vidhana Soudha. Although the CBD is said to cover a radius of 10 km from the state secretariat, the restrictions are likely to apply to about half the area, or even less.

The proposal was discussed at a recent meeting of the State Transport Authority. “We have not made an announcement as we need to work out an alternative,” an official said. While Mumbai has restricted autos in some areas, and encourages the use of taxis, no alternative arrangements were called for in Bengaluru as the Metro is already functioning, said department officials.

- - - The department also anticipates resistance from auto drivers. “They will ask why they aren’t allowed when private cabs are. The problem with autos is, they mostly refuse to ply, and clog up the road by parking at will,” the official said. About 1.6 lakh autos ply in Bengaluru. “The meeting also considered details of traffic violations by autos,” the official said.


For the full text of the report (emphasis added by me) in the New Indian Express, click here.

Yes, it's time this outmoded contraption is phased out from the city, as has already been argued sufficiently in the opening post itself. But, simultaneous with doing that, the government should facilitate the cab and bus aggregation services (rather than their present approach of obstructing them every possible way - check here), as also improve the walkability across all public spaces, as has even been directed repeatedly by the courts(check here, both the post and the blog).

Now, auto's, cabs as well as aggregated bus services cater largely to the "khaas aadmi", leaving the aam aadmi to be solely dependent on the BMTC, whose services are far from satisfacrtory - check here. If the city wants to be kind to the aam aadmi, it's time the monopoly there goes too - check here.

In the first place, what's clear is that this kind of thinking is beyond the capacity of the Transport Department, which still lives in the license-permit raaj. As such, what's required most urgently is the institution of a duly empowered UMTA (Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority) as the regulator, in place of the Transport Department, alongwith total revamp of the related policies (perhaps involving reputed think-tanks, and institutions like CiSTUP, IIM, NLSUI, etc), in line with the new Transport Bill (awaiting parliamentray approval).

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

need for better mass transit options

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Autorickshaws in the city are facing the heat like never before. Already having lost sizeable ground to app-based cab services, demonetisation came as a body blow with commuters, caught in a cash crunch, ditching the regular autos for app-based services.

- - - “We are struggling to make ends meet because of the competition from app-based taxis and the promotional offers from Ola autos. Shortage of Rs100 notes made the situation worse. I may have to shift to driving a cab as auto ridership has come down drastically,” said K Ramegowda, a regular auto driver in Koramangala.

- - - some auto drivers say the response to digital wallets is not encouraging. “A majority of my customers are common people who are not tech-savvy to use digital wallets or mobile applications. Those who are familiar with apps and digital wallets are either booking cabs or Ola auto,” said M Prasanna, another auto driver.


For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

I have from long been advocating phasing out of the auto from the city, for the various reasons recorded in this blog, right from the beginning. Apparently, there are more reasons now, and it's beginning to happen on its own. All the same, like I have stated earlier too, auto's, cabs, as well as aggregated bus services, cater largely to the "khaas aadmi", and cannot be afforded by the aam aadmi for his daily commute.

For his daily commute, it has necessarily to be the mass transit option, where, the failure of the BMTC to meet his need, is making him depend on his two-wheeler, which in turn is causing to clutter the roads. Ideally, nobody should be required to take his personal vehicle for the daily commute. For that, as such, what's required is the dismantling of the BMTC monopoly - check here.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

time auto phased out; dept and ministry replaced by UMTA

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Hit by the invasion of app-based cabs, autorickshaw drivers in the city have raised their pitch for introducing shared auto services to draw commuters.

- - - Transport Department officials, however, maintain that stage carriage permit in the city is BMTC’s exclusive right and no other private operator is allowed to pick up or drop passengers. With all of 6,155 buses, BMTC is meanwhile struggling to cater to the burgeoning demands of the city and shared service might work as a two-pronged reprieve for both city autos and BMTC’s depleted fleet.


For the full text (emphasis added by me) of the report in The New Indian Express, click here.

The demand of the auto lot is undoubtedly logical.

Now, however, just the day before yesterday, around 3PM, I took an Ola Prime sedan (I got an upgrade) ride from my home (in Koramangala) to Cauvery Bhavan, and for the 36 minutes ride in a/c comfort, it cost me Rs 182/-. On the return, my BAF colleague dropped me at M G road/ Brigade road junction from where I got an Ola auto, which for the 23 minute typical auto ride (rash, and in general violation of all traffic rules) cost me Rs 206/-, for about half the distance covered by my cab ride.

Actually, I had opted for "Ola share Express", at an 'indicated' charge of Rs 60/-. But, with the Transport Department continuing with its "ducks and drakes game" with the aggregators (the purpose being obvious), it was unavailable.

Either way, in view of the above, why would anyone bother with the auto, any longer? It's high time the government helped the auto lot to upgrade to cabs (eventually phasing out the auto altogether), in a proper team up with the aggregators, as has been argued in this blog right from the beginning. And, this is where we very badly need an UMTA in place of the Transport Department, and perhaps the ministry even.

Muralidhar Rao

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