Outline: Means of travelling in cities – the bus is the cheapest transport – the bus conductor – his duties – the public should co-operate with him – public reaction.
A well- organised transport system is a great blessing to a city dweller. In a city like Mumbai with a large population and long distances to be traversed, local trains, taxies and buses are the most convenient modes of travelling.
Trains are overcrowded and taxies are expensive. The only vehicles in which one can travel comfortably and cheaply are the buses run by the B.E.S.T. Company. It is a large organisation and for its efficient running the driver and the bus conductor are very important persons. Thanks to their efficiency and co-operation, the buses are run safely and to scheduled timings.
The job of the bus conductor is the hard one. He has to be on his feet all the time, probably for several hours at a stretch. He has to move along the gangway from seat to seat to collect the bus fare and to give tickets. At every stop the conductor has to be at the entrance to check the impatient crowd scrambling for seats. In Mumbai, however, the queue system has come to stay, and this has vastly minimized disorderliness which prevails in other cities particularly in Culcutta and Delhi.
The bus conductor has to be alert all the time. He must be physically strong to endure the various hardships of his job. He must have pleasant manners, or else he will fail to control the passengers. If we want the conductor to be competent and courteous, we have to co-operate with him. The passengers should be polite and accommodating. They should not try to travel without tickets.
One often notices frequent altercations between the conductor and the travelling public. The conductor has to exercise great caution and patience in carrying out his duties. He is constantly in a state of tension, for he has to deal with the people of diverse temperaments. It is up to the passengers to sympathise with the hard lot of this public servant and give him all the assistance he needs.