Tuesday, 15 September 2015

RANT : Public bus

One of my professors said, “Does anybody know what the FoS of our public bus is? It’s 3.5 because the number of people who enter the bus can never be controlled!” If you didn’t understand, Fos stands for factor of safety. Factor of safety is the amount of load a body can sustain beyond its expected performance. Let’s say your swing needs to withstand 100kgs but it can take up to 200kgs; the Fos here is 2. It means your swing will fail at 200kgs. Coming back to public buses, they will fail at 3.5 times the expected load. So you can trust our public buses. You see, the thing about BMTC is even if the paint of the bus is falling apart and it tilts to the left because weight of people is concentrated here, it is going to keep running. Although I might have started this rant on a more technical scale, this inspired me to write today’s post.

Public transport is necessary. It decreases traffic, pollution and is cost cutting. In Bangalore, people use the public bus to commute to work, schools, colleges and markets. We have a good connectivity and a decent number of buses.  Our metro is still under construction so this is our most preferred choice. The downside is what you have to face while traveling in a bus. The two causes for a stressful bus ride are the people we travel with and the bus conditions.

Starting with the conditions or the situations one has to go through while traveling in the BMTC.

1) ERRATIC SPEEDS: If you have taken multiple buses, there is a one in five chance that the bus is very fast and harsh driving is involved. Imagine a crowded bus where you’re standing with your arms in crazy directions with your feet firmly planted to the bus floor and the driver simply doesn’t care. He uses the break like it’s a no big deal and it ain’t gonna affect anybody. When he hits the breaks, we’re all doing the Michael Jackson moves (except a few who fall over one another).  It is also very highly likely that you’ll be traveling in an extremely slow bus. This bus driver has all the time in the world. He/She doesn’t want to cross the 20 km/hr . You’re just sitting there and watching 50 other buses pass by every five minutes. 

2) NON CONSIDERATION OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS: Even when the traffic light clearly indicates a GO, the bus will not move. Here buses don’t skip red lights. They skip the green twice or thrice at the same signal! I’m not sure whether this driver is waiting for his/her lover but it is very annoying when you have someplace to go and this act interrupts your activity. It also disturbs the vehicles waiting in line behind the bus. In such situations you can hear a chaotic mix of honking and hoarse screaming.

3) ZERO TO INFINITY: The minimum number of people that can travel in a bus is zero and the maximum shoots up by a fantastic degree. Although the bus is a defined space that is confined by physical boundaries, the good hearted driver lets any number of people get in. The entrance is usually to the left so you can always observe that for a bus ride, you’ll only need one leg inside the bus (the rest is just open to the roads and the passing vehicles!) If you have fears that the bus might topple to its left, just remember the factor of safety is pretty high and it was designed for India.

4) UNPREDICTABILITY: Will they stop, wont they stop is what I chant when I see an approaching bus. Even if you’re standing at the bus stop some buses stop way beyond the bus stop, wait for 0.567 seconds and charge ahead at full speed. Some buses do not bother to stop and some of them and stop and never move for the next half hour (to make sure it gets filled to its fullest capacity). So you’ll have to risk and predict what the behavior of the bus is going to be.

5) TIME: There is this one bus that takes me directly to college. And this is the only bus in my area. It arrives at 7:45 AM on one Monday and the next Monday it doesn’t. Even if you give a tolerance value and arrive early and wait for an extra fifteen minutes, you ain’t gonna see that bus for the next two darn years. You gotta be lucky okay! This is not the only bus that doesn’t know and understand why time is used. It’s equally distributed in our city.

6) WEATHER: It rains in the bus too!  When it rains outside, it drizzles in the bus. So we’re all just shuffling seats, testing which is the safest and driest spot. Sometimes all the seats are wet so we let the spirits (if you believe in them) use them and we just stand in the bus, frantically searching for a post or handle to hold onto.

Your bus rides can be further worsened by people. Moving on to the types of annoying people in the bus. 

1) THE HEAVY AUNTIES:  I have weight issues too and I’m not embarrassed about my build. But we all need to understand how to walk around in buses. We all know four people share one pole in that bus. We have to have to hold on to it firmly because if we leave it for even a second there’s always another worthy person to hold that pole. The heavy people need to understand that they occupy a wider space. When you’re walking in a bus you can’t just charge head on because you are dragging us along with you and I’m losing that precious pole spot.  So please turn to your sides when walking in a bus. That physically occupies less space. 

2) I-WANT-SUPPORT PEOPLE:  If there is no non-living thing in sight, they are slowly going to shift their weight on you. And resistance is futile. They’re just too experienced to lose to you. It’s not just their weight but sometimes there are moments when their bags land on our heads and they just don’t bother about their ignorance.

3) ARGUMENT ATTRACTORS: When traveling in a bus, I don’t want to be involved in any trouble. There are some people who just create trouble wherever they go. They’re always arguing with the conductor when they haven’t paid money for the ticket or scolding the person sitting next to them saying they need more space than required. And they’re always looking around for people to support them although everybody know this person is clearly at fault. 
    4) THE PUSHERS: When you are getting into the bus and when you’re trying to get down at your stop you will meet the pushers. If there is a queue to get in they are going to nudge, dig their elbows into your skin and try to stamp over you. Can they please understand that you have the same objective as them- to get into the bus! And even when you have to get down at a stop, they just keep pushing and saying ‘move’. Hey! Lady, I ain’t getting down a moving bus and both of us have the same destination, so shut up and step back.

    5) GENDER CONFUSED: We have stickers above a seat indicating if it’s a seat for ladies or gentlemen. When the bus is crowded, the non-gentlemen occupy the ladies’ seat. It is so annoying because even the conductor doesn’t support us when we ask him to get up. But if one woman occupies the men’s seat the conductor is scolding you, telling you to go back from wherever the hell you came from. And we have those annoying men who carry their kid into the bus and suddenly the kid is not theirs anymore, they just hand her/him over to the mother. And the mother asks for a seat. Men, understand that there are other men who will give you seats when they see you with a kid. Please trust your own gender too!

This post does sound scary if you haven’t experience traveling in a BMTC, but the conductors (who are in charge of issuing tickets) are friendly and ready to help you if you don’t know any stop and will let you know if a stop has arrived. If you are awfully tired of the local BMTC, you can definitely take the slightly more expensive buses- Volvo- which are smoother and have better suspension systems. So if you have any experiences to share, comment down below!!

Note:- Image does not belong to me.


  1. Hahah! I loved this post, you've given it much thought and explained the points with details and a pinch of humor! Indian buses are multi-faceted and this post talks about just that.
    And that is great technical comparison in the beginning!

  2. plz dear show some concentration for the rivets which used in bus...........awesome post machi

    1. Thank you Archana! I totally forgot to mention the vibrations and the conditions of the bus. I thought the post was getting too long.