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October 30, 2015

Autrickshaws in Bangalore

When I moved from Bombay to Bangalore a few years ago, I found the the auto rickshaw scene appalling. Now it is worse. As a frequent user of auto rickshaws in Bangalore, I have had my share of bad experiences. Yesterday was an exception, when I flagged down one at the busy junction of Queen's Road and Cunningham Road.

Image of a Peace AutoThe vehicle looked tidier than the average. The middle-aged driver was unusually polite. In addition to the ubiquitous picture of his favourite deity up front, there was a green board on the side, prominently displaying the words "Peace Auto" both in English and Kannada. I asked the driver what it was. He proudly said that he was a member of Peace Auto. I was intrigued. He was as eager to explain as I was to listen.

It is an organisation that promotes good relations between auto drivers and passengers, through peaceful means and high quality of service.

In 2013, Anil Shetty, a young man decided to do something more than complain about the problems that beset auto rickshaw services in Bangalore. The Peace Auto initiative was launched, in association with B.PAC and - rather grandiosely named - the World Peacekeepers Movement. Today  400 auto rickshaws in the city carry the green boards which announce their affiliation with this initiative. The organisation has clear goals that will benefit both passengers and drivers: such as law-abiding, courteous service to passengers and support for drivers' welfare.

If you happen to travel in one of the Peace Autos, don't fail to give your feedback on their website. I did.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laudable initiative. But 400 Peace Autos out of nearly 150K in the city! Will it ever make a difference? Here's one experience, common throughout Bangalore.

Yesterday during the evening peak hour, I hailed at least a dozen empty auto rickshaws near Shivajinagar. Not one agreed to take me, probably because the short trip was unattractive to them. I tried the Ola app on my phone, to find that there was neither taxi nor auto available. After 30-40 frustrating minutes, I gave up and called a friend who obliged and picked me up.

Rhoda D said...

Your distressing experience and similar ones are being discussed endlessly, as in this post: http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2015/02/03/auto-rickshaw-apps-help-commuters-breeze-through-bengaluru/

Peace Auto is a mere drop in the ocean... nevertheless, it is ACTION, in the right direction.


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