Are conductor-less BEST buses a security concern?
It was recently revealed BEST's fleet now has a record 500 conductor-less buses. Now questions are being raised on the safety of commuters. Talking about the same, Senior BEST committee member Sunil Ganacharya has demanded "safety of passengers" in the new conductor-less buses. These buses are plying across the island city and suburbs. It is said that are around 82 routes on which buses are plying without conductors.
He further added that these buses could be a soft target for a terror attack. BEST officials on the other hand maintain that they are doing everything by the book and even going an extra mile to ensure that the passengers are safe.
However, in this discussion a very valid point that Ganacharya has made is that in the past if there were incident of eve teasing or molestation, then women passengers could lodge a complaint with a conductor and even ask them to take the bus to the nearest police station now in this case how will be solved. In addition, all the emergency medical aids were passed by conductors such as taking people suffering from a heart attack to the hospital. He even said that he will be taking this issue to the panel meeting of the BEST management.
In the past, there was a plan floated to recruit conductors from man power recruiting firm on a contract basis but that too had been turned down by the panel.
As BEST plans to revamp the service and make it the preferred mode of commute, it also needs to make sure that it continues to be safe and reliable. It is understandable that the loss-making entity is under tremendous pressure to save overheads but going conductor-less may not be the most ideal way to go about things.