Last-hour rush helps autos make a killing
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd November 2013 09:58 AM |
Less than a month after autos were forced to use the meter again, the city’s auto drivers attempted to make up the difference in one evening. As people rushed to board buses and trains leaving Chennai on the eve of Deepavali, they were shocked when auto drivers asked them for rates that ran up to `800 - for destinations like Egmore station and CMBT.
With traffic conspiring against most of them, public transport like buses were not really an option — especially for techies who rushed after finishing work at 5-6.30 pm from places like Taramani to take the mofussil bus home.
“Every year, I get fleeced by the bus operators and end up paying three times more. This time it felt like the autos were in on it too,” said Harrison M, a systems analyst who paid `600 to ply from Madhyakailash signal to CMBT.
“When the traffic was too heavy near Vadapalani signal, the auto driver said that this was as far as we could go if I wanted to catch my bus on time,” said the man travelling to Tirunelveli.
Something almost identical happened to Sarvesh, who was rushing to catch his A/C bus to Hyderabad from his house in T Nagar. “The auto driver asked for `500 and told me that he was doing me a ‘service’ by forgoing his Deepavali celebrations so I could start mine,” said the stunned marketing professional, who coughed up the cash grudgingly.
It wasn’t just the out-of-towners who were feeling the heat. Even people who wished to be ferried across the massive line of moffusil buses heading out of the city, were asked exorbitant amounts. “I wanted to reach the junction and continue home to Saidapet, but a driver asked for `200 from Sai Nagar,” complained Sarala, who works in a textile company here.
Even share autos were cashing in as most of them doubled their rates and changed route so that they could all ply to Koyambedu, Central and Egmore stations.