6 years ago

\'Cheating\' bus services in Dhaka city

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They all cheat passengers in the name of 'seating service'. Passengers are charged higher fares as the buses were supposed to touch only certain spots on the routes where their counters are located. But this is not to be in reality now. As a result, widespread brawls between passengers and conductors are a usual sight in buses that ply from Mirpur or Mohammadpur to Gulistan or Motijheel or Arambagh. Some passengers are found to call it 'cheating service.'  
There is none to monitor the raw deal being meted out to thousands of helpless passengers who travel on these routes. If one passenger refuses to pay what the exorbitant fare the conductor charges, he is immediately threatened to be offloaded from the bus or hurled abusive words. He is regularly subjected to misbehaviour by conductors who are usually appointed on the basis of power of their muscles and tongues to silence the protesting passengers.
Some passenger buses boast of attractive names like 'Maa-er Doa' (blessings of mother), 'Bismillah' or 'Prayers are a passport to heaven.' But inside these vehicles, one could see rough drivers and conductors letting loose a hell. 
One bus company that plies between Mohammadpur and Arambagh through Motijheel has surpassed all records in bleeding the passengers. The company frequently changes its name. Once it was a 'direct' service, meaning that its buses only stopped at fixed counters- numbering eight or nine. It was quite a relief as these did not stop anywhere. The fares were high compared to those of other bus companies. Then all on a sudden, the company possibly thought that it must extort more money in the name of fares. Immediately it decided to withdraw all counters and started it as 'seating service.' Its buses now stop everywhere to take passengers but the fares remain the same as these used to be charged as 'direct service'.  These buses now stop at 19 to 20 places and even resort to overloading with passengers standing on their feet inside the 'seating service' vehicles. 
It is not known to the travelling public whether fares of these bus companies are fixed by a certain section of the road transport ministry or there is any department to receive complaints about poor service, exorbitant rates of fares and abusing behaviour of bus drivers, conductors and helpers with the passengers. 
On reaching their homes or offices, the abused passengers naturally narrate to members of their families or office colleagues the ordeals they daily suffer while commuting on buses. They fume against the inaction of the authorities and the government.  
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