08
September
2013

Kolkata bus conductors vs Hyderabad bus conductors

By: Sourav

kolkata bus service, bus service in hyderabad, life in kolkata, life in hyderabad

This story about Kolkata bus service and Hyderabad bus service is a slice of my real life experience in these two cities. Kolkata’s public transport network is better than that of Hyderabad. The number of local public buses in the capital of West Bengal is more than that in the capital of Andhra Pradesh. However, it is not the main subject of the story. The story is all about how bus conductors of Kolkata and Hyderabad play their roles.

In Hyderabad, buses halt only at stoppages and traffic signals. The buses neither stop nor slow down even a few steps away from a stoppage to drop a passenger despite his or her request. If a passenger forgets to get down at a stoppage, the bus conductor drops him or her at the next stop, no matter how far the next stop is. He does not listen to the passenger. In Kolkata, the bus conductors are a bit lenient. Most of them don’t turn a deaf ear to passengers’ requests. Buses often stop to see passengers waving their hands and board them in between two stoppages. Though, it annoys other passengers sitting in the bus.

In Kolkata, every public bus has two conductors – one at the first gate and the other at the second gate. They manage the entry and exit of passengers at their own gates. The conductor at the front gate collect fare from the first half of the bus, and the conductor at the back gate collect fare from the other half of the bus. In Hyderabad, one conductor is equal to two conductors. Every public bus that is as large as public buses in Kolkata has only one conductor to manage passengers and collect fare. There are lady bus conductors in Hyderabad, too. They are more efficient than their counterparts.

In Hyderabad, the first half of every bus is reserved for ladies and the second half for gents. The first gate is exclusively for ladies to get into and down the bus. Most of the conductors don’t let men enter and exit through the first gate. Even, they don’t allow men to stand near the seats reserved for women. The scenario is opposite in Kolkata where bus conductors don’t object when male passengers stand near the row of seats for women. It is common to see men hang over the sitting female passengers in Kolkata public buses.

In Kolkata, bust conductors are patient and decent. They decently approach passengers for fare. They address male passengers as dada (brothers) and female passengers as didi (sisters). They are not restless to collect the fare the moment a passenger boards the bus. They are patient enough to wait for the fare if a passenger says, “Wait, I am giving the fare a little later / in a few minutes.” But the way bus conductors in Hyderabad collect fare from passengers is fast and furious.

Like hawkers in a local market, they keep chanting “tickets, tickets, tickets” all time.  They collect fare as soon as passengers board the bus. Once the fare is collected, the passengers can sit or stand properly, breathe and feel relaxed. If a passenger asks the conductor to wait a little, the conductor raises a hue and cry. I have faced this situation a few times. Lady conductors are more strict and serious about fare collection in Hyderabad City.

In Hyderabad, young people are in the bad habit of hanging at the gate even if the bus is empty and their destination is far away. It causes inconvenience to other passengers when they enter or exit the bus. The bus conductors neither pay attention to the inconvenience caused to passengers nor object to those who unnecessarily keep the space blocked at the gate. In Kolkata, bus conductors don’t let anyone stand at the gate unless the buses are crowded. Some people journey standing at the gate or hanging out of the gate and holding a support somehow only when the buses are overcrowded.

How the bus conductors in your city are different from those in Kolkata and Hyderabad? Do share with us at SliceofRealLife.com.

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