Guwahati City Bus Drivers need to be Educated and Trained: G Plus Poll

Monday, 21 September 2020


Guwahati City Bus Drivers need to be Educated and Trained: G Plus Poll

Chetan Bhattarai | February 23, 2019 10:55 hrs

POLL | Do you think the new city bus guidelines will ease the traffic woes of Guwahatians?

Total votes: 2,200

YES: 69% (1,500 votes)

NO: 31% (700 votes)

Like most growing cities of India, Guwahati, too, has been strained by the rising traffic. Public commuting has become a nightmare. All modes of transport jostle for space with drivers glaring at each other honking, braking, swearing and making faces. Well, a major chunk of the public transport in Guwahati is borne by the city buses and its functioning comes under the Regional Transport Authority Kamrup headed by a District Transport Officer & Secretary also popularly known as the DTO.

On Thursday the DTO issued new guidelines for city buses to ensure hassle-free movement and de-congest the traffic to a certain extent.

  • No handyman in city buses
  • Maximum 2 minutes waiting time at each stop 
  • Bus drivers will have to paste their photos on the front of the vehicle, which has to be visible from a distance of at least 50 meters.

Also, new routes have been introduced and existing ones have been extended to cover the whole of the city and surrounding areas. 

Taking note of this development G Plus organized a poll on its various social media channels asking its readers whether the new guidelines will ease the traffic woes of daily commuters in Guwahati. The G Plus poll received a healthy 2,200 votes and citizens expressed their opinion through comments and messaging services.
Of the 2,200 votes, 69% respondents believed that the guidelines will help in the smooth movement of traffic. Rest 31% respondents opined that the guidelines will be of no help as the implementation part was a big question mark.

The majority of readers supporting the guidelines felt that it will work once the buses start stopping at the designated bus stops. They also preferred government run buses over private city buses as the latter are notorious for not following the traffic rules and guidelines. The steps taken by the DTO would help in improving the traffic scenario, felt these respondents.

The G Plus poll found that readers who are also commuters are not happy with the existing city bus service. One of the comments from the poll sums it all, “For city buses in Guwahati ‘Rules are meant to be broken,’ they do not follow the existing ones so don't expect the new ones to be followed either.”

Readers participating in the poll were strictly in favour of city buses following the laid rules. They want the buses to stop picking passengers from locations which are not designated as bus stops. The respondents gave a big thumbs-down for mid-way pick up of passengers by the buses. Proper numbering of the shades and buses was also voiced by these respondents.

The 31% respondents who felt that the new guidelines are not going to help had their own arguments. Their first priority was the training and education of the bus drivers as trained and law abiding drivers can help ease the traffic movement. Trained drivers who follow the rules are a difficult entity to find, opined many. They believed that making the rules is one thing and getting these implemented is a tall order to ask for.

The poll found that there was serious concern about the handy-men or helpers losing their jobs. These respondents also pointed out that the number of accidents or getting “kissed” by the buses might increase if the helpers are not there to scream, shout and holler at the passing and nearing vehicles. Some respondents put up examples of handheld ticket machines to be issued to the buses for making the task easier for the conductors as the helpers were to be removed.

Also, respondents accused the traffic police and home guards of working hand-in-glove with the bus drivers and contractors and blamed the system for not being able to break this nexus. There is very less professionalism in the way the buses and the administration functioned, pointed the respondents.

Questions were also raised on who would be responsible for the stop time limit of two minutes as it would mean deploying people at all the designated bus stops – an almost impossible task.

Overall, the G Plus poll findings have brought back the focus on the role of the DTO and the city administration to come together and implement the guidelines to help make the city traffic less chaotic for the residents of Guwahati. 

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