Thursday, July 9, 2009
Share Autos - Boon or Bane?
One of the biggest inventions of this century to solve people's commute problems is 'share autos'. You can see them almost everywhere. There is a lot of interesting stuff to share about share autos.
The drivers of share autos can patent "How to squeeze 13 people into an auto rickshaw that is legally entitled to carry just 5 people". They can throw people into every nook and corner. If you are overweight, don't worry. You'll get squeezed to half your original size. "All men & women are treated equal" in share autos. Irrespective of whether you are a man or women, rich or poor, young or old, lean or stout, tall or short - you get the same treatment. You have to squeeze yourself into that 1 feet slot given to you to sit.
Share autos are also incubating a cultural change in our society. Unknown men & women wouldn't share a seat in public transports (like buses). But, in share autos women and men sit close to each other without complaints.
Share autos compete with our local MTC (Metropolitan Transports Corporation) buses in all possible ways. In old days, MTC buses used to stop when you wave your hand at the bus - no matter where you are. But, MTC buses now stop only in designated bus stops. Share autos fill the gap. Just wave your hand & the autos will stop right close to you. At times, share autos wait at or near bus stops to drop/board passengers. You can see the MTC bus drivers getting annoyed & honking non-stop. Share autos are also eating into the market share of 'regular' auto drivers. Share auto drivers know how to maneuver the vehicle in busy traffic, which at times is a threat to pedestrians & to folks who ride cycles/bikes.
Though I'm happy that I have a good option to commute to work, I'm very sad that our government cannot solve our commute problem in better ways. I'm not sure how safe it is to overload that little metal box that runs on our roads. I would not be surprised if someday, we see air-conditioned & bigger share autos.
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