Metro Bus: Overcrowding, ill-discipline mar first full day of service

MBS general manager sees conspiracy in users ‘occupying’ buses.


Photo: Tariq Hassan/rameez Khan February 11, 2013
Commuters scramble to get onto a crowded bus. PHOTO: TARIQ HASSAN/EXPRESS

LAHORE:


Tempers flared at several Metro Bus Service (MBS) stations due to overcrowding on Monday, prompting scuffles and delays.


Many people stayed on buses for several rounds of the 27-kilometre MBS route, while the number of buses was also not at full strength.

The much-trumpeted bus service, launched on Sunday and free for the first four weeks, drew many users apparently there for a ride to check out the buses, rather than actually go anywhere. By noon, several buses were so packed they were not stopping at stations to take on new riders.

Meanwhile, claims by the city’s transport managers that buses would run every three minutes were proved hollow, as intervals of 15-20 minutes were reported between buses.

Further, women passengers were harassed on several buses. Unlike most buses in the province, there is no separate section for women on the articulated MBS buses.

The buses were boarded by a large number of users at Shahdra and Nishter Colony in the morning. They stayed on the buses for a long time and the vehicles got more and more crowded.

Officials at the Ichhra and Gaddafi Stadium bus stations said that the buses could not stop for new passengers as the ones inside were refusing to leave. When the doors opened, few came out while a dozen more wanted to board. They said that they had communicated the messy situation to the control room and had sought more guards.

Student Muhammad Abbas, who ended up in scuffling with MBS station officers at Gaddafi Stadium, said that he had been waiting for an hour. “I have no choice but to wait for these buses as the other public transport routes have been altered for the MBS,” he said.



Syed Adil Shah from Cantonment and his cousin Muhammad Shahzeb, from Karachi, had planned to travel on the bus. “We waited more than 40 minutes for the bus to arrive. Several buses didn’t stop at the station. We had to walk home,” said Shah.

Talha, a student and a resident of DHA, also got stuck at the Gaddafi Stadium stop. He said that the service shouldn’t have been made free for the first four weeks, as the facility was just being abused.

MBS General Manager Uzair Shah, speaking to The Express Tribune, said that the events of the day were “a well-planned conspiracy to make the service fail”.

He said that people had “occupied” the buses and were not getting off. “Several brawls have been reported,” he said.

He said a plan was being worked on to resolve the situation, but did not elaborate. Asked if they would drop the idea of making the service free for one month, he said that this was a decision for the Punjab government, as it had announced the free service.

Shah said that 38 of the 45 MBS buses were in service on Monday, with seven sent in for minor repairs as their doors had been damaged. He said the windows of several buses were damaged by users on Monday.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2013.

COMMENTS (108)

Abu Umer | 8 years ago | Reply

Services are good but we need to use them properly.

Clear Black Bag | 8 years ago | Reply

Before starting such these types of traveling in the modern buses on cheap fares there is a need of the new chapters must be added in the courses from school to university level in Pakistan thru which you could educate that how to travel in the modern buses like the civilized and well-cultured people and nations then start such these types of projects in Pakistan.Otherwise this is all wastage of money and destruction of modern buses because Pakistani nation doesn't deserve such these types of modern traveling facilities without proper education and as far as Daewoo Bus Service Pakistan is concerned then in Daewoo buses only those can travel who can afford high fares and whose are educated,civilized,well-mannered and well-cultured....

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