Thursday, October 11

Blue Murder

Lots of Barrow folk moan about the local bus service, mainly when the bus is running late and they end up getting wet. They should thank their lucky stars that we don't have the same bus system that the poor folks in Delhi have to suffer. Owners of the 4.500 privately owned Blueline buses rent them out to drivers, just as they would a taxi. This means that the drivers are paid according to how many passengers they pick up, thus encouraging them to speed. As a result, 334 people were killed in the past three years. The toll so far this year stands at 96. . This has led to intense competition, with buses racing each other to the next bus stop. In the worst recent case on Sunday seven were killed and eight injured when a bus lost control when trying to force past a rival bus and crashing into a bus shelter. Police had to use teargas to disperse an angry crowd of 3000 that wrecked the vehicle and beat up the driver. On Tuesday, police had to intervene again when a crowd attacked a Blueline bus that had killed a motorcyclist. Three hours later, another Blueline killed a Pizza Hut delivery boy.
“What can we do?” said passenger Ranjit Das-gupta, 33. “You want to get to work on time, but is it worth risking your life?” Mmm maybe our buses aren't that bad after all then.

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