2010-05-05

Bus Day

Not everyone that goes in a bus is abandoning a car to get into. Many travel by bus, everyday. They cannot afford a car. So, how many can actually give up going in a car and take a bus. Maybe, 10 % of the capacity of the bus (which is not more than 10-15 cars), given that buses are already running full during peak time. If more people tend to move from cars to buses, there will be chaos. They will not be able to reach offices in time. Productivity and discipline issues will ensue. Consequently, people will get back to their cars.

My observation thus far

=One bus pollutes as much as at least 10 cars. Equivalent of the number of cars that it is optimal for people to give up cars to get into buses.
=Buses and trains are power guzzlers. Incrementally, how much of power will be saved is not sure.
=If everyone gave up his/her car to get into bus, needless to add, we will end up with huge unemployment issues.

So, let's keep our cars; let's make buses efficient; lets make transport easy. I will keep both my cars in the garage to take public transport during office days. For me, convenience is the word.

PS: As I had written earlier, progress is a trade-off.

6 comments:

Vanita Hegde said...

I liked the way you write. But I don't agree. Use the car and bus efficiently. Convenience is the required but world is more beyond convenience.. and we put our self in inconvenience at one point or other to make what we want.

itheabsolute said...

Vanita

Thanks for dropping by and your comments.

Life is not what it would be without disagreements. As many people, so many perceptions.

Thanks and Good Luck!
Cheers

Prithvi said...

I couldn't help but comment. Here are the specifics.

- I live in the US and take bus to work. I can't comment on the mileage of buses and cars in India, but the car I drive gives me 22 mpg (decent 200hp car) and the bus I go to work gives 6mpg (that's equivalent of 3.5 large sedans). So, on a per capita basis, I don't agree that buses and trains are power guzzlers. By skipping driving, me and three other collegues are saving as much fuel as the bus that takes us to work consumes. How can that be power guzzling.
- As for the unemployment: If everyone takes buses, there will be a need for more buses and more bus drives. Since taking the bus doesn't mean people shunning the car (just as you said, I do have a life and that requires a car for other things), I see that there will be more buses produced that will off-set any cars that are potentially not bought. So, theoretically, there should be more employment (add the bus drivers too).
- the other economic benefit of a bus is, my schedule is more punctual, and I can take a nap on the way to/from work. That leaves me with more energy to do other chores (more productivity at work or home) or teach somethings to my daughter (better education for next generation).
- Buses use diesel and they are far more efficient and have far less emissions (per capita), making them not only economically, but environmentally viable options.
- Every full bus on the road keeps 25-30 cars or scooters home, so imagine the amount of congestion that can be relieved on the roads if most people take buses.
- Having a bike (bicycle) rack on a bus makes even more sense. Someone can take a bike, go to bus stop, attach the bike to the rack, get off at the destination bus station, ride the bike to destination. Btw, this is already in practice in the US. Not sure if this is prevalent in India yet.

I don't see why any of the above won't apply to India either.

All that said, to make buses an effective medium, perhaps the govt. should consider the following.
- Have the available when people need them. This means more shifts, more peak demand supply, etc. Anyone who wants to depend on buses has to suffer the crowded buses. I think this can happen only in India where the supply seems to be a problem for matching demand. Rest of the world, people would kill for such a demand, and match with twice the supply to cater to the peak demand.

TLDR; I see your point. I see the other way too. Both have their own merits.

itheabsolute said...

Prithvi

Thanks for reading the blog and your detailed comments.

My responses

- if I was living in the US, in all probability, this post would not have been written. And you will agree that your responses are almost all US-centric. I guess, I could stop writing further. Nevertheless would take the opportunity to highlight differences and what provoked me to write the post.

- I have been to the US twice and been there close to 2 months. I have used public transport in the US. It works very well. I have been to other countries where public transport works very well. I have almost always used public transport in such cities.

Coming to India

(1) I do not know if you ever traveled by a bus in Bangalore (where I currently live) or any city and by train in Mumbai. It is nightmarish. This is not an opinion, but fact.

(2) Not sure if you have seen buses in Indian cities? Buses are already going full. During peak hours (read office hours), they can only incrementally take - at best for the bus operators and at worst for the passengers - another 10-15 passengers. Mind you, these passengers would not be sitting but almost hanging at the doors, which do not close even when the buses are running. And buses do not run point to point.

- So, incrementally, per bus, only 10 or max 15 cars can be abandoned . More buses can be added, but roads are already choked. So, beyond a point, it all becomes counter-productive.
- when you can afford going in car, would you prefer to go to office with unkempt hair and crumpled dress. Add to that your own sweat and that of other passengers which you would have picked because they were half on you.
- would you like to fight with other passengers because they stepped on your shoes, et al
- would you like to risk life hanging at the doors
- in Mumbai trains ( saw / experienced long ago, when I started my career), I have seen people taking advantage of the crowd, and rub against private parts of other passengers (this is not an issue with women only)
(if you could not afford a car, then the above arguments do not hold good)

(3) Buses in India are not as efficient as those in the US. They spit smoke like one of those steel furnace units.

(4) As for employment, one bus has one driver. 10-15 cars have at least 2-3 drivers. Every car has one cleaner. There is a guy subsisting on filling air for these cars. There are dozens of mechanic shops who live on repairing and servicing these cars. Millions of Indians depend on cars for their livelihood. In India, where population is 125 crore, we need many many more jobs than those required in the US.


(5) I spent USD 55000 (equivalent INR) on a car, which would cost less than USD 25000 in the US. Things don't work the same way in India as they work in the US. For you, in the US, convenience costs maybe USD 500-800 per month (your monthly travel ticket). For me, convenience costs very dear. If I had a public transport system in India that is half as efficient and customer friendly as in the US, I would hop on to a train/ bus and would rather put that money in my bank and earn interest.

Cheers

Prithvi said...

I agree with the practical aspects of your argument. Having taken the buses in India myself, I couldn't help but agree with you. Perhaps its my wishful thinking that one day India will have a strong public transportation that doesn't have all the problems you described so that the white-collared folks will actually find it convenient to use public transportation over cars.

Just as I watched India in amazement over the past few years in several areas/industries, I feel/hope India will reinvent itself in the next few years in the public transportation industry and make that wish come true. Let us hope so.

Btw, I am a regular to your blog and perhaps read each and everyone one of them. Great job and keep writing.... You do inspire people, which I consider is a rare gift. So writing is perhaps the biggest charitable activity you can engage in. Keep on writing.... All the best.....

itheabsolute said...

Prithvi

Thanks for all the nice words. Keeps me inspired.

Good luck!

Cheers

2010-05-05

Bus Day

Not everyone that goes in a bus is abandoning a car to get into. Many travel by bus, everyday. They cannot afford a car. So, how many can actually give up going in a car and take a bus. Maybe, 10 % of the capacity of the bus (which is not more than 10-15 cars), given that buses are already running full during peak time. If more people tend to move from cars to buses, there will be chaos. They will not be able to reach offices in time. Productivity and discipline issues will ensue. Consequently, people will get back to their cars.

My observation thus far

=One bus pollutes as much as at least 10 cars. Equivalent of the number of cars that it is optimal for people to give up cars to get into buses.
=Buses and trains are power guzzlers. Incrementally, how much of power will be saved is not sure.
=If everyone gave up his/her car to get into bus, needless to add, we will end up with huge unemployment issues.

So, let's keep our cars; let's make buses efficient; lets make transport easy. I will keep both my cars in the garage to take public transport during office days. For me, convenience is the word.

PS: As I had written earlier, progress is a trade-off.

6 comments:

Vanita Hegde said...

I liked the way you write. But I don't agree. Use the car and bus efficiently. Convenience is the required but world is more beyond convenience.. and we put our self in inconvenience at one point or other to make what we want.

itheabsolute said...

Vanita

Thanks for dropping by and your comments.

Life is not what it would be without disagreements. As many people, so many perceptions.

Thanks and Good Luck!
Cheers

Prithvi said...

I couldn't help but comment. Here are the specifics.

- I live in the US and take bus to work. I can't comment on the mileage of buses and cars in India, but the car I drive gives me 22 mpg (decent 200hp car) and the bus I go to work gives 6mpg (that's equivalent of 3.5 large sedans). So, on a per capita basis, I don't agree that buses and trains are power guzzlers. By skipping driving, me and three other collegues are saving as much fuel as the bus that takes us to work consumes. How can that be power guzzling.
- As for the unemployment: If everyone takes buses, there will be a need for more buses and more bus drives. Since taking the bus doesn't mean people shunning the car (just as you said, I do have a life and that requires a car for other things), I see that there will be more buses produced that will off-set any cars that are potentially not bought. So, theoretically, there should be more employment (add the bus drivers too).
- the other economic benefit of a bus is, my schedule is more punctual, and I can take a nap on the way to/from work. That leaves me with more energy to do other chores (more productivity at work or home) or teach somethings to my daughter (better education for next generation).
- Buses use diesel and they are far more efficient and have far less emissions (per capita), making them not only economically, but environmentally viable options.
- Every full bus on the road keeps 25-30 cars or scooters home, so imagine the amount of congestion that can be relieved on the roads if most people take buses.
- Having a bike (bicycle) rack on a bus makes even more sense. Someone can take a bike, go to bus stop, attach the bike to the rack, get off at the destination bus station, ride the bike to destination. Btw, this is already in practice in the US. Not sure if this is prevalent in India yet.

I don't see why any of the above won't apply to India either.

All that said, to make buses an effective medium, perhaps the govt. should consider the following.
- Have the available when people need them. This means more shifts, more peak demand supply, etc. Anyone who wants to depend on buses has to suffer the crowded buses. I think this can happen only in India where the supply seems to be a problem for matching demand. Rest of the world, people would kill for such a demand, and match with twice the supply to cater to the peak demand.

TLDR; I see your point. I see the other way too. Both have their own merits.

itheabsolute said...

Prithvi

Thanks for reading the blog and your detailed comments.

My responses

- if I was living in the US, in all probability, this post would not have been written. And you will agree that your responses are almost all US-centric. I guess, I could stop writing further. Nevertheless would take the opportunity to highlight differences and what provoked me to write the post.

- I have been to the US twice and been there close to 2 months. I have used public transport in the US. It works very well. I have been to other countries where public transport works very well. I have almost always used public transport in such cities.

Coming to India

(1) I do not know if you ever traveled by a bus in Bangalore (where I currently live) or any city and by train in Mumbai. It is nightmarish. This is not an opinion, but fact.

(2) Not sure if you have seen buses in Indian cities? Buses are already going full. During peak hours (read office hours), they can only incrementally take - at best for the bus operators and at worst for the passengers - another 10-15 passengers. Mind you, these passengers would not be sitting but almost hanging at the doors, which do not close even when the buses are running. And buses do not run point to point.

- So, incrementally, per bus, only 10 or max 15 cars can be abandoned . More buses can be added, but roads are already choked. So, beyond a point, it all becomes counter-productive.
- when you can afford going in car, would you prefer to go to office with unkempt hair and crumpled dress. Add to that your own sweat and that of other passengers which you would have picked because they were half on you.
- would you like to fight with other passengers because they stepped on your shoes, et al
- would you like to risk life hanging at the doors
- in Mumbai trains ( saw / experienced long ago, when I started my career), I have seen people taking advantage of the crowd, and rub against private parts of other passengers (this is not an issue with women only)
(if you could not afford a car, then the above arguments do not hold good)

(3) Buses in India are not as efficient as those in the US. They spit smoke like one of those steel furnace units.

(4) As for employment, one bus has one driver. 10-15 cars have at least 2-3 drivers. Every car has one cleaner. There is a guy subsisting on filling air for these cars. There are dozens of mechanic shops who live on repairing and servicing these cars. Millions of Indians depend on cars for their livelihood. In India, where population is 125 crore, we need many many more jobs than those required in the US.


(5) I spent USD 55000 (equivalent INR) on a car, which would cost less than USD 25000 in the US. Things don't work the same way in India as they work in the US. For you, in the US, convenience costs maybe USD 500-800 per month (your monthly travel ticket). For me, convenience costs very dear. If I had a public transport system in India that is half as efficient and customer friendly as in the US, I would hop on to a train/ bus and would rather put that money in my bank and earn interest.

Cheers

Prithvi said...

I agree with the practical aspects of your argument. Having taken the buses in India myself, I couldn't help but agree with you. Perhaps its my wishful thinking that one day India will have a strong public transportation that doesn't have all the problems you described so that the white-collared folks will actually find it convenient to use public transportation over cars.

Just as I watched India in amazement over the past few years in several areas/industries, I feel/hope India will reinvent itself in the next few years in the public transportation industry and make that wish come true. Let us hope so.

Btw, I am a regular to your blog and perhaps read each and everyone one of them. Great job and keep writing.... You do inspire people, which I consider is a rare gift. So writing is perhaps the biggest charitable activity you can engage in. Keep on writing.... All the best.....

itheabsolute said...

Prithvi

Thanks for all the nice words. Keeps me inspired.

Good luck!

Cheers