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17 Apr 2024, Edition - 3200, Wednesday

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Coin crunch adds to bus travel woes

Anjusha CM


The coin crunch is hitting the people in the City hard, especially bus commuters. It is daily fare for them to engage in a row with bus conductors, who, as many people allege, misbehave with and abuse passengers on grounds of not tendering the right amount.

But to add to this is the `extra’ charge that passengers have to make. “I am a regular passenger having to pay Rs 9 for the ticket from Gandhipuram to the New Bus Stand. After paying a Rs 10-note, I rarely get my Re 1 back and it matters much. In case I ask the conductor, he yells at me,” B Latha said, recounting her tales of hardship to The Covai Post.

But conductors say they are helpless and passengers often do not pay the right fare even if they have the coins. There is no system to get notes changed to coins, they say. This explains why passengers are their only source for coins.

K Rajenderan, a bus worker, said passengers give a Rs 10 or 20-note while travelling for a short distance. There is a time schedule for the bus and when they passenger has to alight, he is given the remainder, “though there could be occasions when there is an outburst’ he says, adding that often shop-keepers are their source for coins. He points to neighbouring States where students have a concession and have to pay the charges, most often in coin denominations, resolving the coin crunch to an extent.

“If at least 10 passengers tender exact fares, there will be enough coins in the conductor’s bag in a 55 or 57-seater bus to meet the needs during a trip. This will also put an end to outburst and often we feel sorry for being forced to yell at passengers,” Rajendran said.

“It’s not like we have coins with us and do not give. We do give coins when we have and yet they continue to behave thus. We want them to be friendly to passengers,” says Sister Theresa.

Another regular traveller H Kumaran says that the attitude of the bus staff makes him hold back the coins and not tender the exact fare. But he adds that he sympathises with them and wishes to mend his ways and hopes they too do it.

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