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Old 9th May 2006, 00:02   #16
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Its very easy to sit back and complain about the conditions of trains...do you have any idea what it takes to run trains in an area such as bombay...railways have to face the wrath of commuters when trains are late (mostly due to accidents caused by people illegaly crossing railway tracks). Slums all over railway land...people that come in the way of development just because politicians dont want to loose their vote bank...who gets the blame? The railways!

Western and central railways are the lifeline of this city, they transport more than a 60 lakh passengers daily with 2200 trains running 3 minutes apart without any accident by way of derailments. Their safety record cannot be matched. Do you know trains running on the suburban network use GPS navigation so that they dont collide into each other. The trains may look old...but theres no way that they are running on outdated technology.

The system is stretched beyond its limit....theres just way too many people. The railways are adding new trains and new tracks so that more services can be run. But obviously nobody sees it. The average commuter thinks the railways are just sitting on their bums and raking in the moolah.

Till the slums are removed from railway property theres no way to add more trains, the system is totally saturated...way beyond saturated if you ask me.

So dont blame the railways. They are working for making our lives better...remove the obstacles then we'l see who complains.

Privatisation wont help...your tickets will just get more expensive.

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Old 9th May 2006, 09:42   #17
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Drifter,

I am with you 100%. One cannot imagine a Mumbai without its local trains and the BEST-Buses. Mumbai's local trains are the best maintained in the country, with pin-point precision in timings and trouble-free operations besides being the cheapest in the country. If you need statistics, go to CST or Church-Gate and they have the statistics of the previous day operations, number of trains that came late and all.. Most of the time, the trains are operating with 99% percision and on time, everytime. I remember taking a monthly pass of Rs 110/- and travelling on central, western and harbour lines as many times as i wanted.. Tell me the name of any other service having such an efficient infrastructure at such a low prices.. Infact, even the repairs, etc are held on sundays so as to not cause inconvenience to the Commuters.. Try explaining that to the Bangalore folks (BESCOM and BWSSB)..

But, unfortunately, the Local Railways and the BEST busses are incurring huge losses and they are being over-crowded by people. I moved to Bangalore just 2 years back from Mumbai and now, i feel like a stranger whenever i board a local train in Mumbai.. I know that the Railways Management is trying to do its best by increasing the number of coaches from 9 to 12 and laying seperate lines for out-bound long distance trains.. But the fact is that the number of people coming into Mumbai is steadily on the rise causing problems aplenty..

Privatisation is certainly not the way to go as far as Mumbai's transportation is concerned..

Last edited by man23ish : 9th May 2006 at 09:46.
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Old 9th May 2006, 12:01   #18
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Long ago NYC's famous subway system was operated by private comapnies. Soon chaos ruled with competing lines not being able to connect to the other and the net result was that the 2 private agencies that operated these lines went bankrupt. NYC had to take over operations of the Subway.

There are some agencies which need govt control as they
a) require interfacing with many agencies and departments etc
b) have very long gestation periods
c) and relate to matters of national (and international) importance such as security, water harvesting and distribution, etc..
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Old 9th May 2006, 12:36   #19
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Privatisation is going to help, if done properly.

See about city busses, private city busses can be allowed to ply on the same routes as the BEST routes, in a regulated manner. Before any private parties are given permission to run the busses on the route, a inspection by the Vehicle inspector has to be made, to make sure that the busses adhere to some guidelines, like the distance between two seats. Or the number of seats in a specific length bus. The fare, as every place have to be decided by the government so that it is not heavy on the passengers, and it should be reasonable for the operator also.

About rash driving, it can be checked using speed limiters on the city busses, not a big deal.

Remember, more busses means atleast better load sharing, if not lower prices due to competition.


About autos, man they are already privatively owned so you cannot do anything more than try to regulate them.

Taxis well they are also privately held. I don't know so much ablut Mumbai, but let me tell you about the system in calcutta. Maybe it can give you some ideas.

They are all held privately, and yes they have an Union, really strong.

You will find only Amby's here as Govt does not permit any other vehicles to be used as taxi. Maybe allowing atleast Indica's will help.

About the ramshakle nature of the taxi's. Govt previously allowed only a definite number of vehicle to be used as taxi. You coule get a permit if any old vehicle retired. These resulted into lots of old creaky taxis. And taxi driver who craged way above the meter.

Suddenly Govt started to allow many new Amby's to be registered as taxis, and a deluge of New taxis hit Kolkata. And my friends today, in kolkata there are more taxis than passengers, and that has changed all the equation. You are not giong to find more freindly drivers than the kolkata taxi drivers. Also the older taxis are Bleeding out of the market due to there high maintainance.

So maybe this case study will be help you to find a direction in this big much debatable controversy.
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Old 9th May 2006, 13:28   #20
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I think wide and wider roads will help solve the problem somewhat. Cutting lanes happens because people think they have to go faster than others and first. Providing multiple lanes will somewhat solve this problem.

Also as multiple lanes come into place the vechicle speed will increase and people will be afraid to cut lanes as the vechicle in the other lan will be traveling in a greater speed and is dangerous.

Another thing is license. Rigorous tests needs to be in place to get license. Everybody that turns the steering wheel gets license without knowing the rules. Everyone requesting licenses needs to be given lot of training and driving time. Also they should be shown a film on road accidents to seed the fear in them.

Next one is tv channels. I really wish this happens. Between important programs they can show traffic violations by individuals and public transport and seed the guilt and shame on people. When you see yourself crossing the line broadcast all over the nation there will be some guilt feeling that will make you change. They should show accidents and the cause and how the dear ones suffer.

Recently there was an accident in chennai bangalore highway where a lady tried to cross the highway suddenly and she got hit by a qualis and she was dragged 4 kms as the driver didnt want to stop because of fear.
If it is given much publicity it will seed a fear factor in people.

These are my thoughts.
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Old 9th May 2006, 15:27   #21
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if u consider mumbai, i dont think BEST and the railways should be privatised. tell me a bus service anywhere in the world where a student can travel to his school college situated in a radius of 10 km from his house in one rupee. i guess even walking to the same place will be more expensive. yes, i agree that the best employees are not the kindest people on the planet but consider their conditions too. They work for almost 8-10 hours a day irrespective of weather conditons and without any physical or creature comforts. their rude attitude is a blessing in disguise simply because due to their fear, mischievous commuters never dare to spoil the interiors of the bus unlike in trains where brand new trains are damaged in an instant. BEST buses are by far the most well maintained buses in india. you will rarely find a BEST bus giving out black smoke or non functioning lamps or making indecent sounds. best is perhaps the only service constantly upgrading its fleet. people are equally responsible for the apalling transport system. why cant people stop in queues at most bus stops? When modern local train coaches were introduced with electronic displays, they were defaced by miscreants on the very first day.
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Old 9th May 2006, 16:53   #22
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This is all about railways.

Agreed. The rates will increase. Thats the only disadvantage. But does that mean that we stay like this forever using such 3rd grade quality trains that don't have proper doors, that are 24hrs crowded, whose compartments are dirty. Tell me seriously do you think these trains are worth it?! Mumbai is now a growing city, and also a tourist place. Who is asking for high-end trains?!? I'm sure there are other trains that are much better than these running here AND that are not as expensive than a super-fast AMTRAK or Bullet Train.
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Old 9th May 2006, 18:11   #23
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@Gordon: which other city apart from delhi has a better rail system.

Do you know Mumbai was supposed to get the metro way before, but all was lost in politics, delhi being the capital got the funds.

Give the western & central railway funds and clear the encroachments, then we shall see. You say you dont want high-end trains? The raillways are working just towards that. They are trying whatever they can with whatever they have...

Take the millenium rake for example...you might think its just a sham...but its got less seats so that there is more space for people to stand during rush hour. They are working towards more permanent solutions, give it time. Dont complain!

The city of Mumbai poses unique challenges first and foremost is the population. People, animals tresspassing on railway property. Do you know that people from slums steal the copper wires used in signalling. No you dont.

You might be ok with increased fares, but do you think a man who earns 2000 rupees a month can afford that? You have to think of the masses dont you. Just because people like us can afford to pay more doesnt mean every other person may be able to do so.

So you dont think these trains are worth it? Then quit travelling by them and take the bus. But dont say that they arent worth it. They are the life-line of this city. You might hate them but you cant live without them.

Being a railway man is a thankless job i tell you. Believe me it is.
People get runover because of their own mistake, who gets beaten up? The motorman. And the mob damages trains and stations. Who suffers? The commuters themselves and the railways.

Its because of people like my dad who stay awake at nights so that people like you can reach your destinations on time. But who cares right! People will never stop complaining.

Drifter

Last edited by drifter : 9th May 2006 at 18:21.
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Old 9th May 2006, 19:49   #24
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Okay. It seems that my posts have hurt you directly. I didn't mean any offense. In fact, I didn't mention anything against "Railway People". What I've said is about trains. What I've said is about the state of the trains, how they are used, and that we need better trains. I'm sure most on this forum also think and feel the same.

Anyways,

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
So you dont think these trains are worth it? Then quit travelling by them and take the bus.
Exactly what I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
Give the western & central railway funds and clear the encroachments, then we shall see.
I'm waiting. It'll be great if it happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
Do you know that people from slums steal the copper wires used in signalling. No you dont.
People even steal manhole covers for that sake. Its a shame though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
They are the life-line of this city. You might hate them but you cant live without them.
Because there is no other option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
Being a railway man is a thankless job i tell you. Believe me it is.
People get runover because of their own mistake, who gets beaten up? The motorman. And the mob damages trains and stations. Who suffers? The commuters themselves and the railways.
The whole system sucks. Which is why you see these things happening. Which is why we still have such kinds of trains on the tracks. Which is why we complain. Which is why railway officials are blamed. Which is why you still see encroachments near the tracks. For all you know its because those guys vote for a particular party. Which is why they cannot do anything about it. But in reality, its not the railways fault. It all relates to just one thing - Government, Politicians, etc.. The Railways have the ability to make the best of things for us, buttt there are a lot of factors that stop them from doing it. Which is why I feel it needs to be privatised so that maybe a private company can do something about it more efficiently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
Its because of people like my dad who stay awake at nights so that people like you can reach your destinations on time. But who cares right! People will never stop complaining.
Seriously appreciate the work.
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Old 9th May 2006, 19:54   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
You might be ok with increased fares, but do you think a man who earns 2000 rupees a month can afford that? You have to think of the masses dont you. Just because people like us can afford to pay more doesnt mean every other person may be able to do so.
Maybe the solution is to have a separate first class coaches with higher fare, AC, better seats and doors that automatically close during travel.
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Old 9th May 2006, 20:34   #26
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I am pretty much against blind privatization of public transport (at least intercity). Public transport is not just means of earning money, but also about providing service to the people. The moment we privatize it, there will be no takers for less crowded routes or remote areas, whereas there will be a rat-race to grab maximum market share of profitable routes.

One obvious example is, private buses plying on Pune-Mumbai route against those plying on Pune-Other cities routes. Since Pune-Mumbai is a profitable route, best buses ply on this route, which mostly operate on time and are in better condition. Compare them to other routes, where they are probably worse than State Transport buses. I just shudder to think, what would happen the moment state transport crumbles down. It will be utter chaos the way things are right now.

Just privatization will not solve the problem. It is more of professional approach of doing the job, which needs to be imbibed into those, who offer these services. Then, it doesn't matter whether it is a taxi driver, BEST bus conductor or good ol' rickshawalaah. Good way of improving State Transport, is to give enough powers and thenmake State Transport authorities accountable.

If it has to be privatized, let there be corporates providing service than individuals owning 2-3 buses.
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Old 9th May 2006, 20:36   #27
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@gordon: In the end, the government has to give funds in order for development to happen. Period.

BTW im sorry if i over-reacted.

Quote:
Maybe the solution is to have a separate first class coaches with higher fare, AC, better seats and doors that automatically close during travel.
AC coaches were being tried, but it hasnt completely worked out. In fact there are first class coaches that have only better seats which are somewhat less crowded because of higher fares. But they also leave a lot to be desired.
Indigenous development takes time and lack of funds is not helping matters either.

Drifter

Last edited by drifter : 9th May 2006 at 20:39.
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Old 9th May 2006, 20:46   #28
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Where are all these discussions gonna lead us guys?

Privatization of all this will reduce profit for taxis and ricks, and invariably the govt...and we know that all this wont happen in the distant future either.

So...let's not argue over it.
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Old 9th May 2006, 20:54   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Maybe the solution is to have a separate first class coaches with higher fare, AC, better seats and doors that automatically close during travel.
There are separate First class coaches with higher fare with better seats.
But even that is not enough, I travel by them, 1 coach of first class remaining 8 are 2nd class. That 1 coach is also not enough.
No point putting AC and automatic doors, it will very good if they put, coz average distance between stations takes 3 mins, so by the time one station goes and another comes, no time for AC to chill around even if the blowers are there on the doors it cant beat the heat.
Even trains like Rajdhani are not that cool when it starts the journey even if they start the generators one and half hour before departure time.
And for doors, crowd is too much. For that they have increase frequency of trains but then only 4 stations at main terminals (eg.Churchgate) the whole thing will come to standstill.
One signal failure, trains are delayed by 1 and 1/2 an hour or even some of them are cancelled, just imagine.

I can go on with problems and solutions for local trains.

But, I salute Railways!!

Last edited by F50 : 9th May 2006 at 20:57.
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Old 9th May 2006, 21:40   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
I am pretty much against blind privatization of public transport (at least intercity). Public transport is not just means of earning money, but also about providing service to the people. The moment we privatize it, there will be no takers for less crowded routes or remote areas, whereas there will be a rat-race to grab maximum market share of profitable routes......
similar to mobile services in rural routes.

I believe in US, this problem is solved by subsidizing rural areas,and charging surcharges in urban areas (Universal Service Fund).

may be this can be done even in case of trasport.
but we need an authority like FCC to enable it, not our politicians
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