The First let down...

Breakdowns are not a rarity on state run transport corporations. In most cases, the tyre is to be blamed, while in some cases it could be the engine. However, Kerala SRTC has never ever let me down, and not a single time has my bus broken down. Things were all set to be different yesterday. I and my dad were heading to Ernakulam yesterday morning, and we were on board an old model bus. The bus (TP373 of Guruvayur depot) was all fine when it started from Kodungallur. I got my favorite seat up-front, near the driver.

All fine, as we started from Parur depot. The bus was crowded to the maximum now, and there was no space for new passengers. However, that being at peak hours (the time was sometime around 0745 now), there were lots of passengers at each stop. I could hear some rattling from the rear axle all the time, and felt it was something normal with the bus. We rattle picked up strength every time the bus went above 40kmph, and gets pronounced as he approaches 60kmph. The driver did not notice anything amiss, and he continued his typical KSRTC driving style.

At one place, the bus had to get off the road to avoid getting hit by an oncoming vehicle. He pulled back onto the road, when the conductor signalled him to stop. The conductor got down from the bus, and called the driver to check the rear axle. I now guessed what was in store for me. Soon the conductor announced that the bus wouldn't go ahead and asked everybody to get down. That was my first ever breakdown experienced on a KSRTC bus. My bus now had close to double its carrying capacity (of 48 passengers). Right behind my bus was another bus to Ernakulam. Close to 5 passengers were sent on that bus. Right behind this was the next rescue bus - about 40 passengers were sent on that bus.

We (I and my dad) along with about 10 more were now waiting for the third rescuer. In the meantime, the conductor called up their depot and passed on the message. The third bus - TS837 of Parur depot - now arrived. The bus had enough space to accommodate us, and finally we headed off to our destination. Luckily, the breakdown was on a route that sees a KSRTC bus, every 7~10 minutes on an average. The incident happening at peak hours also meant we had buses running much closer to each other. However, this single incident would not mar the image of KSRTC for me... this corporation is all set to be my basic mode of transportation for the next two years now! (More on that later)


Santosh Nair said…
Really admire your passion for busfanning, being a big KSRTC fan myself. My friends in the corporation say there is no reason why KSRTC should be making a loss, considering that its fares are competitive and most of the buses run full.