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Old 26th January 2012, 20:21   #1
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Default Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

For those unfamiliar with the concept of prepaid auto, here is how it works:

1. The passenger goes to the prepaid auto booth and mentions the destination
2. The booth operator gives a receipt to the passenger with the fare mentioned
3. The passenger pays the fare to the booth operator (its prepaid, remember)
4. The passenger hands over this receipt to the auto driver at the end of the journey
5. The auto driver gets paid when he submits this receipt to the concerned authority

The advantages of the above mentioned prepaid system are:

1. The fare is mentioned on the receipt, this is useful for passengers not familiar with the city
2. There is no cash transaction between passenger and auto driver, hence no problem of overcharging or change not returned by auto driver
3. The auto meter doesn't come into the picture, hence auto driver can't overcharge using a tampered meter
4. Since the fare is fixed, the auto driver would try to finish the journey through the shorted/fastest path

Now, for those who are not familiar with prepaid auto in Bangalore, here is how it works:

1. In Bangalore, prepaid auto is actually postpaid.
2. The passenger goes to the prepaid auto booth and mentions the destination
3. The booth operator gives a receipt to the passenger with the fare mentioned
4. The passenger pays Re 1 to the booth operator
5. The passenger pays the fare to the auto driver at the end of the journey

This system may not be the ideal system, since it does not eliminate cash transaction between passenger and auto driver, but still provides one benefit to the passenger - fare is fixed by the booth operator.

Now coming to the stupidity in the name of prepaid auto. I took a prepaid auto from Mantri Mall today. I went to the prepaid auto booth, mentioned the destination and paid Re 1. In return for this, the booth operator handed the receipt to me, on which the fare was mentioned as "pay as per meter".

I am still not able to belive that such a stupid practice is being followed by Bangalore Traffic Police. I mean, why the hell is the passenger paying Re 1 to the prepaid booth operator ? He doesn't even mention the fare on the receipt and leaves the passenger at the mercy of the auto driver. The auto driver is free to use a tampered meter and charge excess fare from the passenger. This defeats the whole purpose of having a prepaid booth. The auto drivers, prepaid booth operator and traffic police have made this ridiculous mockey of the prepaid system and are all operating hand in glove.

Just as I had suspected, the auto meter was tampered and I had to pay more than double fare to the auto driver. I did not bother confronting the auto driver because when confronted, the auto drivers in Bangalore tend to gang up and behave like rowdies.

Rohan
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Old 26th January 2012, 21:18   #2
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post

Now coming to the stupidity in the name of prepaid auto. I took a prepaid auto from Mantri Mall today. I went to the prepaid auto booth, mentioned the destination and paid Re 1. In return for this, the booth operator handed the receipt to me, on which the fare was mentioned as "pay as per meter".


Just as I had suspected, the auto meter was tampered and I had to pay more than double fare to the auto driver. I did not bother confronting the auto driver because when confronted, the auto drivers in Bangalore tend to gang up and behave like rowdies.

Rohan

Instead of the receipt that dumb head might have as well asked you to board a rick sans the pre paid way! Waste of paper and a buck.


I have stopped using the ricks a long time ago. Being a local doesn't help either. You get fleeced either ways.
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Old 26th January 2012, 21:43   #3
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
4. Since the fare is fixed, the auto driver would try to finish the journey through the shorted/fastest path.
The name is a mis-nomer - may be it should be called pre-determined fare / fixed-fare. I have seen the system in BLR in use in Chennai (central) also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Now coming to the stupidity in the name of prepaid auto. I took a prepaid auto from Mantri Mall today. I went to the prepaid auto booth, mentioned the destination and paid Re 1. In return for this, the booth operator handed the receipt to me, on which the fare was mentioned as "pay as per meter".
Who runs this service ?
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Old 26th January 2012, 21:56   #4
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Default Mumbai Fixed Rate Cabs

Similar situation was observed by me at Mumbai Airport recently. Came out of the domestic terminal, went directly to the auto/taxi stand. A few "Taxi" guys approached me for taxis & hotels, shooed them away.

When my turn came up in the taxi line, I was shown a taxi for me. Told him the destination and loaded the luggage and started the journey. Generally there is a cop at the gate, who notes your name and destination. Today there was no-one.

Asked the driver to start the meter, he shows me a fare rate with different astronomically high fixed rates. I was in almost a good mind to get down, but a friend who was with me wasn't in the mood to get into an argument/fight, hence we didn't go for it.

For those who know Mumbai suburbs, we paid 750Rs for drop-off at Powai (A/C cab). Prior to this, I have always taken autos at the airport who charge by the meter and always there has been the cop noting the destination details and probably to ensure the people don't get ripped off. Not sure if the autos too were ripping off people that day.

Was this an one-off incident? Or has it become a daily affair?

Last edited by ninjatalli : 26th January 2012 at 22:00.
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Old 26th January 2012, 21:58   #5
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

I am not sure how many are aware of the website mentioned below.

You should all try this site while you are in bangalore.

BTIS - Bangalore Transport Information System

The auto fares are given when you check for directions

You can also complain about over charging by auto wallahs by sending an sms as given here.
BTIS - Autos Complaints

I always check the auto fare for the direction I take or I take a bus.
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Old 26th January 2012, 22:17   #6
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Yes, I had used it once from central and the fare charged by the booth for nothing short of what the regular autowallahs fleece us. Maybe it is good for the tourist who cannot understand and bargain. But the fare was always fixed by the booth, not the auto driver.
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Old 26th January 2012, 22:35   #7
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Default

I've never used the prepaid auto from mantri mall. However, I've taken a prepaid auto many times from the railway station.

Even though u pay re.1 at the counter, the fare is fixed and you only have to pay what's mentioned on the receipt at the end of the journey. No chance to fleece the customers this way.

Its a totally different thing that many auto drivers argue with you and try to get more than what's printed on the receipt.
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Old 27th January 2012, 05:43   #8
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

This has got to be one hilarious incident, i mean why the pre paid booth is there for, taking some valuable real estate space and wasting some paper and ink, and not to mention the salary of the guy sitting there. Its been months i have taken an auto, i kindof dread the day when i have to take one and avoid s much as i can (Thanks to the Volvo bus service).

A agree BLR autowalas are mostly rowdies and can get their group involved at slightest of provocation.
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Old 27th January 2012, 08:20   #9
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

The fare is printed on the receipt with the destination. The auto guys have a trick up there sleeve.They ask you for the direction on how to reach the destination if you are not aware,once you reach the destination they start to argue that this is not the place printed on the receipt and how he has had to drive more and all their usual shenanigans. And the worst part is all the others drivers around gang up on you.

MP
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Old 27th January 2012, 08:29   #10
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

The other trick is the auto breaking down after some distance and the driver asking you to get in to another auto, where the second driver takes you for the ride and both the drivers getting their cut.
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Old 27th January 2012, 08:35   #11
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Really the auto drivers boil your blood and i think i haven't boarded an auto for more than 3 years. Lately after a very very long time i used the BMTC transportation when i was returning back after a journey. I found it to be far better than auto and good.

The auto drivers take their turn only on new comers to Bangalore or those people who do not know Kannada.

Last edited by rki2007 : 27th January 2012 at 08:57.
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Old 27th January 2012, 09:27   #12
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Who runs this service ?
I'm not sure on this, but it seems like a joint venture between traffic police and auto drivers association.

This was a proper prepaid auto booth, similar to ones found outside railway stations.

The funniest part of the incident is that a traffic police (most probably a SI) was standing there and coordinating this stupidity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by figo_mba View Post
You should all try this site while you are in bangalore.

You can also complain about over charging by auto wallahs by sending an sms as given here.

I always check the auto fare for the direction I take or I take a bus.
I am aware of the BTIS website. I am also aware of the approximate fares. But inspite of this, if the auto has a tampered meter, how do you prove to an auto driver that his meter is tampered ? The moment you confront the auto driver, he will create a scene and gang up against you with his auto driver friends and soon you would be outnumbered.

What happens after you send the SMS ? Do you have to visit the police station ? What action is taken against the auto driver ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Its been months i have taken an auto, i kindof dread the day when i have to take one and avoid s much as i can (Thanks to the Volvo bus service).
Same here, I generally avoid using the auto service in Bangalore. If I don't feel like using my vehicle, I would generally take the bus.

This was one of those rare occasions when I decided to take an auto since I wanted to avoid the parking madness in the mall on a public holiday. The last time I took my car to Mantri Mall, it took me almost 1 hour to take the car out of the parking. There was a terrible traffic jam inside the mall parking.

Rohan
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Old 27th January 2012, 10:02   #13
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

Paying on a post commute basis makes zero sense to me, and in fact would actually be more inconvenient since the time I use up standing in line at the pre=paid counter would probably be longer than the time I take to hail a normal auto off the road.
Further, the fact that Bangalore auto wallahs are absolute rowdies is well known, and though I used to get into frequent confrontations with them initially, now as a principle I do not. In fact it is much better to pay 10 bucks extra than get into a fight which in a lot of cases hold the possibility of turning into a physical confrontation with all the auto drivers in the vicinity that you are in
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Old 27th January 2012, 10:02   #14
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

The sad thing is that Auto's in bangalore always ran on meter until a year back. But now they know every newcomer or every random dude outside the mall can't wait enough and will pay double the fare or 20 bucks extra to an already tampered meter. Things can't get worse for this city.
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Old 27th January 2012, 16:40   #15
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Default Re: Stupidity in the name of prepaid auto

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Originally Posted by Ford5 View Post
The sad thing is that Auto's in bangalore always ran on meter until a year back. But now they know every newcomer or every random dude outside the mall can't wait enough and will pay double the fare or 20 bucks extra to an already tampered meter. Things can't get worse for this city.
Exactly! it is the same 'Ordinary Janta' who have witnessed sudden gush in the flow of income to be blamed for this unhealthy and rouge practice. For a auto guy in Bangalore, anyone and everyone is a software engineer or he/she is from a different state! They seem to have forgotten that there are other not so well paid professions too and there are still people who have seen Bangalore change from a garden city to a garbage city! I prefer walking that extra mile than stuff extra cash down the throat of these auto guys! As very rightly mentioned, Bangalore was never known for rouge auto guys and always ran on meter fare.

Stop giving extra and demand meter fare always!
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