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Old 12th September 2022, 18:25   #1
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Default Horrible experiences using public transportation

Many of us might have experienced horrible things during use of public transportation. The usual inconvenience of being overcrowded, rusty, unclean, tardy notwithstanding, I want this thread to enumerate the extreme experiences that these institutions provide. Be it rail, bus or ferry. May be this is what causing more and more people to leave public transportation and making our overburdened infrastructure even more pathetic.

Now I know there is a thread which discuss as to why someone have stopped using public transportation, however I could not find one regarding horrible experiences while using one. This is not a post regarding why I have stopped using public transport (read Kerala SRTC buses) but might soon stop. If mods do feel like this belongs in that thread kindly merge this.

Coming to my horrible experience, I had to travel from Trivandrum to Ernakulam on short notice and trains tickets were unavailable so I decided to make the journey through KSRTC Super-fast Bus. Booked the ticket online and got confirmed seat. In hindsight this was a good decision since the KSRTC is a mess now, they have less schedules operating and most of them are pre booked almost fully. So if you want to get a seating of your choice you will have to reserve tickets for long distance travel.

Coming back to my ordeal, the bus was supposed to start from Trivandrum depot at 3:30 PM. I reached the depot by 3 PM and was informed that the bus will reach by 3:30 PM from the reservation desk. I informed them that I have a reservation but I have not yet received my SMS with bus number and contact info of the conductor. Usually you get this message around 30 minutes prior to your scheduled bus departure. I was again told not to worry, the conductor will have the reservation details with him and I will be contacted. So I started my wait. 3:15 PM, still no SMS. 3:30 PM came and went, no SMS and no bus apparently. I again approached the enquiry section and they told me that the bus is running late. They didn't know when it will be there. When I specifically asked isn't the bus originating from this depot they said the bus is currently completing a trip and it will come here and then proceed to next destination and still they didn't exactly know where the bus was at.

Anybody who had travelled by road from Trivandrum to Ernakulam during peak hours will know that it is at least a 6-7 hour trip to cover 200 odd kilometres. On top of it this was the end of a weekend after Onam and everybody seems to be coming or going somewhere. To say the road was crowded will be an understatement.

4 PM - still no sign of SMS or the bus. This was the first time that I was having a bad experience with KSRTC in the past 5-6 years. However, this was about to get worse. I had booked my ticket through MMT, and I could see only the starting point and end point info of my journey in the app. Unknowingly I had booked the bus which went via MC road instead of my usual choice of NH 66. I learnt this only after I boarded the bus.

Anyway, 4:15 and finally I got an SMS mentioning the bus number and contact info of the conductor and I quickly dialled the number only to hear a busy tone. This happened for the next 3-4 tries after which I accepted the fact that I'm not going to get through. The bus was still not to be seen. Enquiry at the desk was as fruitful as the first time. Finally, at around 4:30, the bus pulled into the depot and I boarded asap and dropped my bag someplace safe and expected the bus to leave swiftly since it was already an hour late.

The bus driver, (new shift, new guy) was heard saying we are so late we will leave immediately as my seat was just diagonally opposite to that of the driver. A fellow came and asked the driver when will the bus leave as he had to go to the restroom to which the driver replied that he cannot guarantee anything as it was already vey late and that's why he is still idling the engine. This cemented my belief that we will depart soon and that fellow went back to his seat most probably dreading extreme bladder control given the next rest stop could be 2-3 hrs away.

Expecting to leave immediately, I plugged in my headphones, loaded my favourite playlist for the road got into a comfortable position and waited. Waiting. Still waiting. Some more and then the driver just shut off the engine opened the door, got down and went somewhere! The nerve!. If I were surprised, I don't know what that guy was feeling, who the driver told he couldn't go pee because we will be leaving immediately. Well to his relief, he used this as an opportunity to run to the loo. Good for him.

The bus was supposed to leave at 3:30 PM from Trivandrum and reach Aluva (Ernakulam) by around 9 PM. Since I was expecting a realistic time of 10pm while booking the tickets, as of now I was hoping that we might reach by 11PM -12AM. Check out the time line. I leave home at 2:30 PM saying my bus is at 3:30 PM and I expect to reach destination by 9-9:30 PM. Now it's almost 5 PM and I have not yet started!.

At last the driver conductor duo decided that it's time to leave by 5 PM and we started and quickly ran into some heavy traffic. The driver was intermittently saying we are so late and I was very strongly getting the urge to flick his nose. You know that thing you want to do to someone that constantly annoy you. As annoying as he was the another annoying thing was the traffic. As the bus took a right turn where it should have been a left, I knew that I screwed up the booking. This was kind of taking a gamble. If traffic is less then MC road is faster than NH 66 but with traffic it's a nightmare. Since I am super lucky all the traffic to Trivandrum was coming via MC road. The two lane highway was made 4-5 lane by we the people.

I have to hand some credit to the KSRTC drivers. In many places were I don't dare in my car this guy was squeezing in a 12 meter long bus. It's bad road manners and even worse discipline but as he said he has a schedule to keep (really?). We were encountering 1-2 km long queues vehicles and making progress at a snails pace. People on road were getting agitated, frustrated and the occasional yelling was also heard. People trying to cut the queue by going on the wrong side were blocked by even angrier drivers from oncoming traffic and we the behemoth skirting the queue through the left shoulder was not helping the matter.

It was 7PM and we would have travelled hardly 30-40 kms. I was consoling myself that once the traffic clears and we reach the wider sections, the notorious superfast speed is going to kick in and I'll be at my destination albeit 1-2hr delay. Oh, how wrong I was.

Enter the wider sections of the road with less traffic, the bus was not going beyond 60 kmph, I know because I check with the google maps. Initially I thought it was the bus. It was quite old AL bus which revved hard without any visible output. Then came the lugging by the driver. He was trying to climb uphill roads in 3rd and 4th gear at 20-30 kmph. As I was sitting close I could feel the full effect of engine lugging but the driver was not letting up. It was like he had a personal goal of getting to the top of the climb in whatever gear he was in. This type of driving was norm till the end of the journey.

At around 9:30 - 10 PM we stopped somewhere along the way for dinner break, a 10-15 mins and resumed journey. It was at a bus depot but I can't quite recall which. The only thing consistent with the driver lugging the engine was he repeating how late we were even though he did not seemed interested in doing something about it.

Finally the bus pulled into Aluva Bus Station at about 1AM, a spectacular 4 hours late than its actual scheduled time. Now since I screwed up the booking I had to get another bus to get home and since there are no local buses at that ungodly hour I have to take a different long distance bus to the place/ stop I actually want to go. I don't know if this is a regular case but all the long distance buses which were coming there were jam packed and there were a lot of people at the depot also. Maybe I picked the wrong weekend or it's my regular luck, I was sure that I won't be catching a bus for onward journey so decided to call it a day by booking an Uber. It cost me as much as my bus journey for the short commute to home in Uber. The whole affair was a loss of time, loss of money and most importantly loss of the fun factor of road trip for me.

Kerala SRTC is maybe the most pathetic RTC of them all. They are a horrendous loss making organisation riddled with union politics and systematic destruction of property by the employees. What prompted me to write this was recent two incidents which received wide media attention as to the extent of rot in the system.

First case, a father , teenage daughter and daughter's friend was manhandled and beaten up by Kerala SRTC officials in Trivandrum (Kattakada Depot) while they were at the depot for renewing the girl's student bus pass concession. Apparently, the officials asked for the course certificate of the girl which had already been submitted three months prior. When the father asked that if it is really necessary since course certificate is valid for the entire academic year. The officials took offence to this and started verbally abusing/ being crass with the father and when the exasperated father remarked that these kind of officials are the bane of Kerala SRTC, the matter escalated and the father daughter duo was dragged into an adjacent room by the officials and security and beaten up.

Link to news: https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news...ideo-1.7889508

Second case, A lady conductor verbally abusing and threatening passengers along with the support of driver. When the issue was raised by a passenger, the conductor driver duo tired to get a case registered against the person for creating nuisance under the influence of alcohol and when the it fell apart at the police station they tried to get him blamed for halting the trip and get him fined. However, that attempt also failed and the person ahs formally filed a complaint with police and the Kerala SRTC CMD.

Link to news:

(Watch from 33:10 onwards, apologies as the news is in Malayalam, couldn't find the English version. Also first part of the debate is about the Kattakada Depot issue)

At a time when the organisation is struggling to meet day to day operational expenses, these people are eroding whatever little goodwill and sympathy Kerala SRTC has left with the public with these antics.

I know that the two issued I mentioned in the end is far more horrible than what I have ever experienced but seeing the trend it's not too far in future that anyone can be put through an ordeal. So if you have any such personal, horrible experience and feel to share it, please do so.

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd September 2022 at 15:00. Reason: Correcting a typo
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Old 22nd September 2022, 18:02   #2
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd September 2022, 09:31   #3
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I really Hate KSRTC. Two times they almost killed me by coming at lightning speed in opposite lane in a blind corner. When I asked the driver if he does not have common sense and he would have killed my entire family for his stupidity, he just started using abusive words and left.

The people around us were looking at the incident like this is not new and was not giving any support, I did not have dashcam at that time and after which I got it.

These careless bus drivers will force you kill yourself by coming in opposite lane and give you two choices, either date to go straight at them and if luck is on your side stop in time or the option is to simply go outside the road and be it river or hill , you will be alive based on how you handle the car.

My friend once said that if KSRTC bus crash into your car, the best you could do is to thrash the bus driver and conductor because even if we go with insurance or case, max they will give us 1lakh.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 09:37   #4
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Default Re: Horrible experiences using public transportation

Kerala SRTC is unreliable, unsafe, unclean, uncomfortable and uncouth. Also more expensive than the neighboring state's SRTCS. There, summed it up. Don't travel by Kerala SRTC.

Last edited by GTO : 24th September 2022 at 11:02. Reason: Please type your posts out perfectly (spellings, capitalization, punctuation etc.)
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Old 23rd September 2022, 09:51   #5
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Default Re: Horrible experiences using public transportation

I had been regularly using KSRTC services whenever required, my last ride was around 3.5 years back from Palakkad to Trivandrum and back on a Scania (Garuda Maharaja running between Trivandrum and Bengaluru via Palakkad). The bus was pretty much on time and the driver-conductor duo were courteous. During my return leg the bus had two drivers (both Tamil speaking, which was a bit surprising for me considering its a Kerala-SRTC, later came to know that Scania buses were basically being driven by Scania appointed drivers). Although I reached Palakkad well before time, I ended up with a bad headache, reason, the driver was constantly honking till Aluva to clear the traffic while overtaking dangerously.
Earlier, KSRTC had pretty much disciplined drivers. Currently, they are even worse than the private operators, the recent incident which happened in Feb is a gruesome reminder as to how bad the situation is. Delayed salary payment has added more fuel to the fire.
Link to the thread on the incident:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...wo-youths.html (Dashcam reveals a horrible accident caused by KSRTC driver killing two youths)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyWanderer View Post
the best you could do is to thrash the bus driver and conductor because even if we go with insurance or case, max they will give us 1lakh.
Since you mentioned Ligthtning, heard of Minnal service?

Jokes apart, I have been forced to go off the road, all thanks to these imbeciles, multiple times I have had the urge to smack the hell out of these low lives, but again I have no intention to ruin my vacation. Ignorance is bliss I say.

Last edited by rakesh_r : 23rd September 2022 at 10:04.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 10:22   #6
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Before the onset of covid to Kerala, I had an opportunity to travel from Calicut to Kasargod via super deluxe(premium) service of Kerala SRTC. Having ferried priorly by Karantaka RTC, I was used to polite nature of conductors especially in long distance buses. The bus was pretty late and I was forced to spend long hours in the night at the Kozhikode KSRTC bus stand. No proper place to sit, I was standing until the bus arrived. The bus reached Kasargod bus stand at 3:30 am in the morning, and the bus was to continue its trip to Mangalore and then to Kollur Mookambika. Since my home is walkable from the highway, I asked the driver to stop 1 km away from the bus stand for which the conductor asked to buy a ticket to the next city that is 50kms away😨. When similar request is placed in Karnataka SRTC they drop until the end of the city limits around 20 kms away from the bus stands. I went and complained to the Station Master who was of the opinion that I should wait till the morning until the Mangalore buses start to ply . That was the last time I travelled in Kerala SRTC and woved never to get into one at any case.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 10:45   #7
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Don't ever my friends, get the idea of bashing these people. One of my friends did it in a spate of rage ( his bike was side swiped by a drunk KSRTC driver and he and his wife fell off ( wife lost consciousness), bus sped off without stopping).

In his fit of rage ( understandable), he caught up with the bus and asked his why he did not stop. Driver started abusing him, bashing my friend from his seat and my friend, by now furious, hit back and trashed him proper. Whole traffic was disrupted and police arrived. The driver somehow managed to escape with the keys of my friend's bike. Police apparently told my friend to come to station and will sort it out there. Big mistake! upon reaching station, how the tables turned!

Friend was slapped with non-bailable charges ( injuring a government official, apparently drivers are government employees) and had to spend 2 days in jail ( second Saturday). The union came behind the driver with support, got him admitted to a hospital and spun the story the other way round ( threats , abuse all inclusive).

Now the case is in court and I don't know how it is going now , to be honest. Friend has left for Canada and I don't think he will ever be back here again.

Get out of their way is the best option. Not worth our time or sanity to teach these folks anything.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 11:23   #8
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To be fair though, flights, buses and trains routinely get delayed in many countries across the world whose names don't sound like Japan, Singapore, Norway, Netherlands or some such.

Complaining about a 4 hour delay in God's own country where everything is always late or off for the afternoon or completely shut down: aren't we getting ahead of ourselves here .

Small mercies, Uber worked at 1AM for you. Most people can start a rant thread just by hearing that name.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 14:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyWanderer View Post
My friend once said that if KSRTC bus crash into your car, the best you could do is to thrash the bus driver and conductor because even if we go with insurance or case, max they will give us 1lakh.
You will end up being prospected for assaulting a govt. servant on duty and also held liable for the cancellation of the remainder of the trip the bus was on.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 14:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanolover View Post

Friend was slapped with non-bailable charges ( injuring a government official, apparently drivers are government employees)
Unless the bus driver has stepped out of his vehicle, in that case he looses this protection.

We would have noticed after any such incident they never step down and sit tight to their seats.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 15:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dust-n-bones View Post
To be fair though, flights, buses and trains routinely get delayed in many countries across the world whose names don't sound like Japan, Singapore, Norway, Netherlands or some such.

Complaining about a 4 hour delay in God's own country where everything is always late or off for the afternoon or completely shut down: aren't we getting ahead of ourselves here .

Small mercies, Uber worked at 1AM for you. Most people can start a rant thread just by hearing that name.
Ironically, I have had the best travel experience using public transportation in God's own county. Be it the well connected bus routes or the Kerala Transport Boats. I was also surprised to see exact change being tendered, no matter what time of the day.
I am unsure about the tardiness though, its not a novelty in other parts of this country which I am sure of.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 15:52   #12
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Not just KSRTC, but all govt owned SRTCs have absolutely no incentive to drive safe, sell more tickets, be on time etc that are generally expected of a professional transport company. These guys get their salaries any which way they work/drive. If a driver drives the bus safely and a conductor serves passengers courteously, they are not rewarded.

If these corporations are privatized, I'm sure one will be able to track the bus, have a good booking experience and such.

Well private buses also drive rashly and governments need to bring in regulations, to monitor them using technology. As for these SRTCs, they absolutely have no money to invest in technology.

When this privatization will happen, god only knows. Until then, we have to bear with them.


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Old 23rd September 2022, 16:49   #13
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Roads are no place to be in this state! Such is the sad state of things. Does not matter whether you are in a bike or car or bus, it makes for horrible travelling.

Trains are the life savers when it comes to travelling within the state. Pretty good connectivity and if you get a reserved seat/berth, nothing like it.

It is a miracle how we get along as we do on our highways (!)
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Old 23rd September 2022, 21:58   #14
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Mods perhaps we can rename this thread as Kerala SRTC - Bad experiences
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Old 23rd September 2022, 22:31   #15
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I have travelled very few times in KSRTC bus but never had any bad experience but hate their drivers (other staffs too ) to the core. . They push you off the road no matter what, even in heavy traffic.
My worst state RT bus experiences were in MH and TN (buses were in worst condition and dirty). KA-SRTC is the best I experienced.

Last edited by Latheesh : 23rd September 2022 at 22:47.
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