ITP unable to put a leash on public transporters | Pakistan Today

ITP unable to put a leash on public transporters

In spite of the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) having been established over six years ago with the aim of changing the attitude of public transport drivers, commuters in the capital continue to be at the receiving end of misbehaviour from public transporters.
Over the past six years, the ITP brought significant improvement in traffic management and also managed to curtail the ratio of fatal to non-fatal accidents in the city. However, it remained unsuccessful in educating drivers and changing their attitudes. Commuters travelling on various routes complained that the rude behaviour of transporters compounded their problems.
A number of commuters said it was the ITP’s responsibility to educate drivers on how to deal with commuters. Action needs to be taken against transporters misbehaving with commuters, they added.
They suggested that authorities needed to set up complaint cells at the major bus-stops of the city so that commuters could be asked about the attitude of transporters and other violations, as this would help curtail the commuters’ problems. “The ITP needs to arrange workshops for public transporters to educate them on how to treat people in a better way,” they said.
Commuters said transporters behaved rudely when they dropped passengers at the bus-stop and yelled at passengers if they asked to be shown the fare list. Most of the drivers and conductors not only behaved rudely with people, but also openly smoked cigarettes, disturbing commuters, they said. Similarly, due to the rude behaviour of public transporters, no one dares complain about the worn-out seats, broken windows, irregular seating arrangement, damaged floor and out-of-order locks. Cleanliness is not a priority for the transporters, posing serious health problems to the commuters. Moreover, they also disregard the Motor Vehicle Registration Authority’s rules regarding the maximum number of seats public transport vehicles can have.
According to the rules, 15 people, including the driver, can be seated in Hiace wagons, however, more than 20 passengers are frequently accommodated in these vehicles.
Under the rules, every vehicle owner has to get his vehicle’s fitness checked by the Motor Vehicle Examiner every six months, but the majority of the owners do not follow the rule. “Most people obtain the fitness certificate without inspection from the authority by using contacts in influential positions,” said a senior official of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration.
Muhammad Zeb, travelling from Rawalpindi to Islamabad, said transporters stopped over on every stop for long periods of time, especially at Faziabad, Zero Point and Aabpara. And when commuters asked them to continue on the route, they started misbehaving with them. “Despite this violation, the transporters misbehave with commuters and ask us to arrange some other way for travelling, as they we would stay at the stop for as long as they want,” he said.
A few days ago Asad Khan was travelling in a Hiace from Islamabad to Rawlpindi. When the Hiace reached Faizabad, the conductor asked him to get off the vehicle, as he was the only passenger. When Khan insisted that the driver complete the route, the driver ann conductor snatched Khan’s mobile and beat him up. He informed the area police station, but they turned a blind eye towards the entire problem, he said.
Yasser Hussain, another commuter said the deterioration of public transport was being exacerbated by the authorities, who had not yet been able to even issue schedules for public transport.
Thus, when travelling on public transport, one never knows when they would arrive at the destination.
Razia, a working woman, said transporters had dropped her at the wrong stop several times, despite her having requested them to drop her at the proper stop. She demanded authorities to take strict action against these violators. Local authorities needed to make a comprehensive plan in this regard regarding education of public transport drivers as it would not only be better for the residents of the twin cities, but it would also play a vital role in improving the standards of public transport in other parts of the country.

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