Passengers still unwilling to take the Metro service in Amritsar

Passengers still unwilling to take the Metro service in Amritsar

A view of Metro Bus.

Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 14

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Amritsar partially resumed bus service earlier last week, but passengers, it seems, are still unwilling to travel in it for fear of contracting the infection from a co-traveller.

The bus service was stopped due to the Covid-19 lockdown and resumed on July 8. However, buses are operating at much less capacity as the ridership has gone down drastically.

Earlier, the daily ridership of 84 buses operating on two BRTS routes in the city was 25,000 30,000 passengers. But after the authorities resumed the 40 buses recently, these have managed around 20 per cent of its earlier ridership only.

Further, as the schools and colleges are closed, it, too, has affected the bus service as a maximum of riders comprise students. A worker at Guru Nanak Dev University, who earlier used to travel in the bus, said: “I use the cycle now. It is difficult, but I have heard that AC can increase the chances of catching the infection, if someone infected has unknowingly boarded the bus.”

Passengers are apprehensive, as they feel that seats and safety rods in the buses might have been touched by an infected person.

“Someone who is infected and does not know about it yet might have travelled in the bus and touched different places. If one has to travel, one should avoid touching things unnecessarily,” said Sukhchain Singh, a resident.

The BRTS authorities, however, said ridership was less as people were avoiding travel and schools and colleges were closed. They said buses were being sanitised frequently. The public bus service was facing hardships before the Covid-19 situation, as people still had to become accustomed to travelling in public transport instead of using their own car or scooter. The BRTS management was hoping that the summer season would help in increasing the passengers as they would prefer AC buses instead of auto-rickshaws.


Commuterspeak

Instead of travelling in the bus, I use the cycle now. It is difficult, but I have heard that AC can increase the chances of catching the infection, if someone infected has unknowingly boarded the bus. — A worker at GNDU

Someone who is infected and does not know about it yet might have travelled in the bus and touched different places. If one has to travel, one should avoid touching things unnecessarily. — Sukhchain Singh, a resident

Officialspeak

The ridership is less as people are avoiding travel and schools and colleges are also closed. Buses are being sanitised frequently. The public bus service was facing hardships before the Covid-19 situation, as people still had to become accustomed to travelling in public transport instead of using their own car or scooter. The BRTS management was hoping that the summer season would help in increasing the passengers, as they would prefer AC buses instead of auto-rickshaws. — BRTS officials

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