Mangaluru: It seems like the transport authority/public transport association and Mangaluru City Corporation have a mission…’It’s either more or less, but never adequate.’ So, when people who commute daily by city or service buses complain of the hazards and hassles involved in boarding a bus, both the authorities seem to be aggravating the commuter’s problem. Bus shelters across the City are in a shambles. In many places, there are no bus shelters at all, and at some spots there are more than one bus shelter- and there are other spots where makeshift stops have added to the misery of the travelling public.
A newly built bus-shelter when it was constructed in front of Kadri Market, had hardly any commuters using it, other than homeless people squatting or sleeping. Even four-legged “man’s best friends” were seen taking a nap, some of them urinating-this ‘bus shelter’ seemed like a ‘dog-kennel’ for them. Right now this bus-shelter is in a dilapidated condition, with the rear portion of it collapsed, roof/metal sheets missing etc-seems like a poor construction work done by the contractor and his workers. Looking at the present condition of this bus-stand, no strong foundation had been planned when it was constructed- and this led to the rear portion of the bus-shelter to cave in- Luckily no commuters were in the shelter during that time.
One shop owner in front of this collapsed bus shelter speaking to Mangalorean.com said, ” When this bus-shelter was in good condition lots of illegal activities used to take place take like people playing cards, drug activity, etc etc. In such a huge bus-shelter I have never seen any commuters using it, other than beggars/homeless people spending days and nights in it. The bus shelter used to stink with these poor people urinating, including dogs too. Simply a waste of money spent on that (now) deserted bus shelter”. At Lady Hill junction, there are at least three bus-shelters opposite Lady Hill High School, and two bus shelters opposite Mangala stadium-but hardly anyone uses the second/third bus-shelter. At one bus shelter opposite Lady Hill school, motorists are using it to park their two-wheelers.
There is absolutely no planning or policy when it comes to the number of bus shelters to be built at a particular point as some important bus-stops like Lady Hill-Urwa Stores Road or Kadri Road have more than two bus stops in a row, resulting in the bus drivers stopping according to their whims and fancies. In fact, there are no shelters at all in most of the bus stops in the newly added wards. There cannot be a worse hardship, a commuter can face while waiting for a bus for a long time. An overenthusiastic MCC and other organizations/associations have gone ahead with random construction of bus shelters, leaving the commuters more confused at some places and have completely ignored certain places.
Take this classic example of lack of planning by these authorities. Taking a ride across the city and little further in the outskirts of the city, you’ll notice that there are two or three bus-shelters with a scanty population using it for travelling towards their required destinations, and in other places where many commuters really need a bus-shelter, there is none. Thousands of commuters have to wait along the bus stops or most of the times on the road itself. This gets worse when it rains. It’s very confusing for the people, especially visitors who wait for the bus where there are more bus shelters. They do not know where the bus stops. In such cases, they might also miss the bus and not reach their work place or destination in time. Chances are that when the people are waiting for the bus in a bus shelter, the bus might stop ahead in the next shelter. Also, if the same route bus numbers are plying at a particular time, the buses won’t even stop, unless there are commuters alighting in that destination. There is no proper display of route numbers on the bus shelters either. Seems like there is a lot of disarray in the construction of more than one shelter at a particular stop between the planners.
In conclusion, having more than one bus shelter at a bus stop is definitely confusing to the commuters as the bus might stop anywhere. Also when there is a bus shelter where commuters are not using it, chances are that illegal folks use it for illegal activities, also four-legged animals like stray dogs and cows use it for their shelter.The city and transport authorities have to come out with a solution as to how to put these deserted bus shelters in use again-one way they can do it is educate the bus drivers or post bus route numbers/destination names in front of these deserted bus shelters.