Credit for image – http://biswajit-svmchaser.blogspot.in/2016_04_01_archive.html
It’s a fact that I’m hugely averse to using public transport in any form and would prefer my bike (that I owned) any day. But when I relocated to Pune i.e. my new workplace in the state of Maharashtra, I decided that I’ll make up for all those days when I didn’t walk enough in Delhi. Fortunately or unfortunately, Indian government makes you pay a lot of money to transfer your vehicle from one state to another and when it comes to moving to Maharashtra, it’s even more painstaking. And so to avoid a lot of headaches in dealing with authorities and bribing them, I conveniently sold my bike away before I shifted to Pune and in keeping to my promise to the environment and my body, haven’t bought another vehicle till date.
When I joined my new company, I found out that they have a flourishing bus service for employees and that it is relatively cheap. So I decided that this will be my preferred mode of commute. I found out that what the company charges for the bus service is nearly the same amount I used to spend for fueling my bike in Delhi and given the fact that I won’t spend on maintaining my bike anymore made the deal all too sweet. I was not comfortable though at first because of an unrelenting belief that anything cheap has to be substandard. And how wrong was I? It’s been 2 years now and I’m glad that I made that decision because not only does my company manage that service excellently well, they also deserve accolades for encouraging employees to use it and I’ve seen tremendous acceptance from the employees for that initiative and it in turn gives them a greater sense of satisfaction.
The move aims to reduce all types of pollution and traffic on the roads, especially in Pune which has mostly 2 lanes on every road, which in itself is a huge pain. The roads are often filled with people driving solo in their Range Rover’s and other ginormous cars which frankly is an appalling behavior. Not only do those morons not think about the environment but they remain aloof to the misery of hundreds and thousands of others who struggle to find inches to even stand beside the roads. These morons don’t think twice before getting off the road to pass people at the front thereby putting so many lives in danger only to save a maximum of 2 minutes per journey. Anyway, I can ramble on and on about them but that’s not what we’re here to do.
Again fortunately or not, the route that our bus follows has me on the last stop for pickup and first stop for the drop. Why fortunate? Because it takes me the least amount of time to reach my office and the same to get back home. Why not-so fortunate? Because as my company has started pushing the employees to use company buses more than their cars, which is better for the environment, the buses to the office come nearly full to capacity at my stop and it sometimes gets tricky to get a seat in them. But that doesn’t ever deter me from using the bus service.
The coverage, in terms of kilometers, in the city is immense. They touch nearly every major area in the city and have multiple buses for the routes on which the number of employees boarding the buses is significantly large. I don’t believe anyone from us bus users has had to hail a cab or an auto-rickshaw because none of the buses had space to accommodate them. For example, my bus stop has buses arriving at every 20-25 minutes from 8 am to 10:30 am, which is awesome considering our area houses a large number of employees because of its vicinity to the company.
What’s another great fact about using these buses is that I get time to either meditate or read books or listen to music or simply browse through the pages for news that may interest me. I like that time a lot. It’s best for the environment and for me too, as I get to walk an extra kilometer everyday apart from what I walk in the office campus.
The bus drivers, while some of them drive in earnest to reach the destinations, are very safe and receive instructions for routes in case heavy traffic or jam is foreseen or noticed in some areas. That way, they can go around the problematic areas without causing a lot of hassle to the employees. The drivers are quite smart too and remember all their routes and the alternate ones in detail. They have been trained to identify company identity cards so that only the employees board the buses and no one else.
One of the most spectacular thing about the entire bus system is the bus-bay where employees board and off-board the buses and that houses the buses during their idle time. The entire roster for the buses is prepared meticulously and barring some strange circumstances, the buses always arrive and leave on time from their parking slots. The buses are neat and tidy barring some for which you can raise complaints and they’re addressed rather quickly.
Not that I wanted to bore you guys with the details but I have learnt that among the barrage of crap news we hear and read everyday, and we’re thick and charging to read bad reviews, it’ll be a welcome change if someone said something good, about something that really does work with clockwork precision. My praise is where its deserved best and the Infosys bus system deserves the best accolades.