The bus slowly stops, the door opens allowing the hot air inside, suddenly one becomes aware of how cool it was within the bus. it also allows a swarm of people who barricade the entrance these the “auto drivers,”
These people are a tourists first exposure to the city. You can be assured that they will fleece. One particular trip from Mehendipattanam to Himmayatnagar I had been fleeced off 150/Rs. so this time round I got off the bus and told the swamp of auto drivers that I had someone coming to pick me, after picking my luggage I walked a distance where a lone auto driver was waiting. I asked him will you turn on the meter, he said yes,and guess what the fare was 97/-
At Bangalore from Malleshwaram to Infantry road the first day I was charged 115/- mind you this by the meter, next day I happened to mention to the auto guy that I would need a lift for the entire month and guess what he shuts meter down and tells me 90/Rs is what you pay no matter who you pick up on the stand. Interestingly one day in between there was a new guy and he turns the meter on, and guess what the fare was 80/Rs.
Bangalore auto guys go where they want to go, and not where you would like to go, so until you find an auto that goes your direction you just keep walking. Oh! Yes if you ask to turn the meter he will drive away without answering you, if there is a cop around you might get a polite answer ”meter kettide amma” that is the meter is dysfunctional.
Call them Tuk-tuk or auto rickshaw, or just an auto, they rule road. the Hyderabad traffic police ran a media opinion on how to tackle this huge power that controls the road.. here were some suggestions that came up. Which the Hyderabad traffic cell is considering quite seriously
- Auto bay’s at every bus-stop and railway station. It should be at distance that allows passengers to disembark.
- Auto bay’s at theatre ‘s, malls etc. that are authorized to park at that particular bay. Unauthorized autos should not be permitted.
- The RTO should apps that allow standardized charges; this can be coordinated with the passengers mobile.
- One stop helpline for auto-users both the drivers and the passengers.
- GPS based security systems.
- Educate the rickshaw driver.
- Authorized price hike, at periodic intervals, to be announced to the public.
The Bangalore RTO has appeals made to the auto drivers, and Sudeep the current popular star models for them. Bangalore has also made it compulsory for the details of the autodriver to me displayed on the back of the drivers seat so that it is visible to the passenger. One auto driver told me, “Whenever you get into an auto just photograph this on your mobile in case the auto driver overcharges or misbehaves you have his details to complain to the cops.”
Unless we stand for ourselves nothing we will be run over.