I live in Pune and drive 25 km one way everyday to work. Like many of us, I am sick and tired of it due to bad roads, heavy traffic. Talk of getting BRT, metro in Pune seems to be happening forever. My car-pooling options have vanished. Today, I had a conference to attend(see more on it here). I thought of taking a break from driving, and use public transport.
The morning was perfect. It had rained all night and weather was perfect. I ventured out with high hopes of pleasant trip to the conference venue. I reached the PMPML bus stop with anticipation, after a 10 minute walk from home, closely avoiding water splash caused by passing by bikers couple of times. Within few seconds of halt at the stop, I noticed a bus approaching, and not to my surprise, it decided to give me(and few others at the stop) a miss and frisked away. Few minutes later, same thing happened. On the third attempt and after another 10 minute wait, finally was able to grab the bus.
Things went smooth from here on. I was able to get a seat, bus conductor was able to return me correct change without looks and complaints. There was not much traffic on the road as it was early morning. The bus was cruising at high speed. Suddenly, myself and others sitting on the last row of the bus, got a mega bump as bus went over a hump without slowing down. All of us were in mid-air position for few seconds before landing with a bang back to our seats. There was not any other incident after that and I alighted at a bus stop near to my destination.
The 10 minute walk from thereon to the venue was mixed bag. I don’t understand why it so hard to build minimum acceptable walk-way or footpath where pedestrians can walk comfortably. I had to walk very carefully, avoiding potholes and dirt on the way. I noticed a dead frog on the way, not sure who it got itself dead there, but must have come under a vehicle. I also noticed traces of evil forces on the way in one corner where bunch of lemons were kept with needles pierced in them. This must have been an act of those, earlier night, who believe in black magic.
I entered the conference venue with my mood dipped down and mind filled with sour feelings due to all that I experienced during my ride. Since childhood, I have traveled by bus and local trains. Bus conditions, service, road conditions have certainly improved, no doubt about it, but lot is left to be achieved. PMPML also has a website and also has a mobile app to plan your journey. I did not use it today, but plan to do it next time when I ride it again.
PS: Update on July 5, 2015: I heard that PMPML organized a commuters’ grievances meeting for resolving them at their office. Not sure how effective it was, but I wonder if they can do this online also, say on social media. That would be I guess more effective. They do have way where commuters can send emails with their complaints.