Traveling.... ticketless....

... its not deliberate! I've been traveling (or rather shuttling) between my home and the nearest town for various reasons over the past week. All the journey have been by bus. My home is on the Thrissur-Kodungallur State highway. The nearest town (Kodungallur) is just 3 kilometres away, and the bus fare is Rs. 3.

Bus services in this area is operated mostly by Private operators, while the state transport corporation (KSRTC) has a name sake presence in the sector. The major bus routes in the area (around my home) are: Kodungallur-Thrissur, Kodungallur-Irinjalakuda, Kodungallur-Mala, and Kodungallur-Chalakudy. These are the route that operate towards my home from the town, and are almost 100% operated by private operators! These services are perfectly legal, and are controlled by the state's transport regulations. Permits are given to private operators, and they are supposed to adhere to timetables fixed by the local traffic authorities.

(A private bus at the Municipal Bus station at Thrissur - picture is only representational)

Some "big" names in the sector are - KK Menon, MS Menon, SN Transports, AL-Ameen, Sree Krishna, Raju Motors, Nandan, and so on. These operators operate a pretty good number of buses, and have well maintained buses. One major issue with bus operators is that they do not issue tickets to passengers - which is a major violation of their operating rules. Older transport companies like KK Menon, MS Menon, etc issue tickets, while the newer companies try to "cut costs" by not issuing tickets.

These buses run at break neck speeds, and walking on roads is a nightmare (thanks to the absence of foot paths) . Due to an increasing spate of accidents, the Kerala High Court made it compulsory for Commercial vehicles (Heavy Vehicles) in the state to have speed restriction devices with a set speed of 60kmph. But all that remains now is the stickers on windscreens which state that the vehicles have those devices installed, and they continue to run faster than before!

So, ticketless travel is more of a compulsion than a pleasure - but in this case you don't save any money but just don't get a ticket! isn't that funny....?