While the State Government is still considering ambitious plans like metro and light rail for public transport in Dehradun, the existing public transport system in the provisional State Capital continues to suffer from various issues. Daily commuters state that public transport vehicles—city buses and three-wheelers (Vikrams and auto rickshaws) run by private operators are affected by various issues which need to be resolved first before the authorities consider other options.
“Over-crowding is the main problem when travelling on city buses or Vikrams” said Trilok, who commutes daily between his work place and home. “Rash driving, unclean buses and absence of first-aid box are some other problems. The drivers and conductors of the city buses neither wear uniforms nor provide tickets to the passengers. The conductors are always hanging on the door of the bus which is really dangerous,” said another regular commuter. However, most commuters state that they do not argue and demand that the rules be followed because they have no other convenient and affordable option than using the city buses and Vikrams.
“The behaviour of Vikram and bus drivers is also questionable as some of them behave in a rude manner especially with older people and there is no specific information about the fare for a specific route. It is variable and tends to change according to the will of Vikram driver and bus conductor” said regular commuter Deepika Rawat. She added that the traffic rules should be enforced strictly on the city buses and Vikrams since these public transport vehicles are a major cause of mishaps and congestion on the roads.
The security aspect is another issue which bothers regular users. A daily commuter, Ritika Kapoor, sharing her experience said, “There are safety issues in the public transport vehicles and not just regarding the safety of women. Crimes like petty thefts, chain snatching and harassment of women tend to occur in public transport vehicles. In addition to ensuring safety of all commuters, especially women, the authorities should also focus on improving the condition of city buses,” she stressed.