not so janapriya

They were launched with much fanfare six years ago, and were touted to be the next big thing in easing Bangalore’s transport problems. “This is the way buses are run internationally”, politicos and bureaucrats proclaimed. “Why generally waste resources on a conductor, when the driver can do his work also?”

They were special buses, priced higher than pushpaks. For a start they had pneumatic doors. The driver had a special uniform, with cap and all. They were supposed to be point to point, with say two stops between JP Nagar and Majestic. “For quick and comfortable travel”, they said. “Soon we will have ticketing machines in these buses”, they said.

None of this stands today. You wave your hand at a Janapriya Vahini and it stops. And the driver spends the next five minutes in doling out the ticket to you. Seats are as good or bad as on a “normal” BTS bus. Rather, almost all aspects of the JPV are no better than the ordinary BTS bus. Just that the JPVs are much slower (owing to stopping of the bus every time a ticket has to be issued) and there is only one door (which further slows down the bus).

The only foreseeable advantage for the JPV is that it results in minor cost savings for BTS (i don’t think the conductor is paid well anyways). Doesn’t it make sense for the BTS to phase them out?

The only way I believe the JPVs can be made useful is to make them “pass only buses”. Given that a large number of bus travellers in bangaloer toady are pass holders (daily or monthly), making these buses pass only would save valuable time for the driver who can concentrate on his primary responsibility. Also, the second door can also be opened up leading to quicker entry and exit. Of course, initially ticket checking will have to be ramped up on these routes.

Worth a try i believe

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