Archive for the ‘Public Transport’ Category

Taxi-nomic Irony

August 21, 2007

It’s ten at night, and as if a long day isn’t bad enough, frantic hand-waving (which would put a teenage girl who just saw Hrithik Roshan to shame) results in a taxi driver pulling over, brusquely asking ‘where ah?’ and after realizing that you are pleading with him to take you to a destination not on his preferred route, waves you away and speeds off into the darkness.

What is ironic is that a lot of taxi drivers complain that their trade is not a profitable one, that they are victims of a cruel capitalistic economy; and yet their passenger-screening criterion is more stringent than that of the American Consulate. I always thought that public transport should not have private players – a case in point being my hometown, where cut-throat competition forces bus and rickshaw drivers to ignore traffic rules and the value of the human life, in order to squeeze that last rupee out of a single trip. The upside however is that you never have to wait more than five minutes to get any kind of public transport.

My point with this long-winded rant is that the public transport here is slipping into mediocrity, and probably what is needed to awaken it from its siesta is a potent cocktail of private bus companies, three-wheeler rickshaws and road-rash.