Using public transport in Chennai is one heck of an experience. There are hundreds of little annoyances and some big annoyances. One of the big annoyances is what’s got me so irritated that I actually swore to blog about it.
Guindy is a rather crowded place, and traffic there is bad nearly all the time. It’s also some kind of a hub for travel to different places. You can get from nearly anywhere to Guindy without switching buses. The Guindy train station is also one of the few places the Fast EMUs stop at on their Beach-Tambaram and back trip. Though I don’t have statistics for this, I’d bet my last paisa that it is the station that handles the most commuters that isn’t a terminus.
With all this behind it, Guindy should be fired up to be a perfect model of how to efficiently manage and coordinate traffic and commuters, but no. That is not what it is.
Welcome to the Public Transport Corporation of Chennai, a devious corporation whose only purpose is to make dedicated, hard-working students late and give sadistic pleasure to policemen manning the stretch to ensure you get as far from your destination as possible.
The bus stops are designed to be as far as possible from the corresponding to the rail station without ending up closer to the next rain station. Today, for example, my bus stopped 500-600 metres from the train station. At 2 m/s that’s a 5 minute walk from the bus stop to the train station, and that’s a pleasant pace.
To top it off, there’s a large piece of land there that serves no purpose other than to be covered by garbage that’s about 2 bus lengths long and 6 bus widths wide (with 2 foot spacing in between).
The walk from the bus stop to the train station is anything but nice, pleasant pace or no. The pavement exists in places, though it appears like it’s the stack of fallen-down buildings from the set of some post-apocalypse movie of the 90s. Also, in Chennai, you do not walk onto a pavement, you climb onto them, and in parts the pavement is a foot and a half above the road. Of course, that’s quite pointless because you either step down two steps later or walk into a hole leading to the sewer system. So you walk on the road most of the time, impeded by moving vehicles.
The timings? Oh wait, what timings? The buses run at random times. Why even bother with this section?
So that’s what’s wrong with the whole thing. And the worst part is, it could actually be a nicely running place given the motivation.