KOCHI: In the present scenario where there are so many accidents caused by private buses, the Private Bus Operators Association, Angamaly, has come up with a model initiative: the Janapriya Bus Society.
The society aims to make all the buses on the Athani-Paravoor route convenient and safe for all passengers including women and children. A helpline number has been opened, and passengers can quote a unique serial number assigned to each bus for making complaints.
The society has also arranged route-checking inspectors to ensure proper behaviour of crews. Davies B O, general convener, said that they want to reduce racing between buses, avoid misbehaviour, ensure proper provision of tickets and balance amount along with timely service. There will also be a ‘pass system’ for students, so that they may not need to pay every time. To avoid over-speeding, the society has introduced a unique method to share the daily collection of each bus.
“10 percent of the daily collection will be assigned as the ‘basic share’ of the respective bus service, and the basic share of all the buses will be added up,” said Davis. “Every day, every bus submits their daily collection to the society office. The total collection for one day is then divided by the sum of the basic shares to get an average value. The calculated average value is then multiplied by the basic share of each bus to determine its daily share. This discouraged racing.”
The society also holds a monthly meeting of bus owners, to discuss the solutions taken for all complaints. The society also helps the bus owners financially in case of accidents and breakdowns. When the society was formed, there was also a study class taken by the MVD for bus crew members. Each bus owner contributes Rs 100 per day to meet the daily expenses of the society. This includes printing tickets, electricity and rent charges.
Daily commuters are now happy “I feel great about such an initiative,” says Shelby Kurian, a teacher and daily commuter. “I also feel that all the buses in the district must come under such societies, to enable commuters to travel in peace and safety.” Merin Varghese, a student added that she liked the idea of a helpline number.