BENGALURU: With several important routes not being covered by BMTC, most Bengalureans rely on autorickshaws for commute.
But often, auto drivers act pricey and refuse to ply to certain routes, leaving commuters stranded. They are also notorious for charging exorbitant fares.
City Express did a reality check and tried hiring autorickshaws from various points in the city to find out how difficult commuters have it.
With Independence Day Flower Show on, Lalbagh has become extremely crowded over the past few days. Auto drivers head there to make good money and the police officers there are too busy manning the traffic to interfere.
Two tourists who got off here said they had paid Rs 100 for around 4 km. “I hired the auto from Aswath Nagar. The driver said it was nearby and refused to turn on the meter. When I insisted, he did. But when I reached, the meter showed Rs 94,” said a tourist from Kerala. Most people trying to hail an auto were stranded as they were denied a ride.
K R market
Autos in KR Market carried more goods than people. The auto drivers supposedly demand more fare when there is extra luggage or goods. In some cases, more than four people are ferried in an auto, which is against the law.
A traffic cop said they file cases against these auto drivers and urged people to report auto drivers who refuse to ply. “I am not well, so I can’t take the bus. So I had no choice but to pay the driver what he asked,” said Kumar, who got down at Victoria Hospital.
This is among the locations where auto drivers charge as they please as most commuters are vegetable or flower vendors who are willing to pay.
There were some auto drivers who were honest and took rides irrespective of the destination. Traffic policemen were seen helping some people get autos.
Expensive rides and refusal to ply are common here. Except for few auto drivers, most of them only accept rides to places they wish to go to.
Four auto drivers refused to ply from Cubbon Park traffic police station to Brigade Road. Those that agreed demanded Rs 70 on an average for a distance of less than 2 km.
Five autos refused to ply to Shivajinagar, a similarly short distance away from the Brigade Road signal. The ones that agreed charged Rs 80.
A traffic cop present at the spot didn’t confront the drivers and instead said, “You can go to pre-paid counter near the Metro station and get a metered ride.”
Madiwala Ayyappa Temple to Forum Mall
Only one agreed to ply the distance of 2.5 km by the meter. While two refused, most of them asked for Rs 80. From the mall to the temple however, eight autos refused to ply and most asked for Rs 100. CONTD ON P4