'I am not unhappy. Unfit drivers and vehicles have no right to serve us'
Due to lack of proper documentation, such as vehicle licenses, driving licenses, and insurance, almost half of all buses on long routes are out of service.
“Some of our buses do not have proper documents, so we are trying to resolve this problem before operating those buses. Usually, there are 75 daily buses from Kallyanpur, Gabtoli to North Bengal, and 10-12 from Mohakhali, but almost half the buses are out of service,” said MdRana, counter master for the Gabtoli counter of SR Travels.
The transport system has been in chaos since student protests for safer roads began in the country, following the death of two students who were run over by a bus on Airport Road on July 29.
Some commuters have expressed frustration with the situation, claiming the reduced numbers of tickets were being sold at higher prices. Others were happy that the buses were finally getting documentation.
Saiful Islam, a job seeker who came to Dhaka from Syedpur, said: “They are not selling tickets at regular rates.I had to pay extra for my ticket.”
Nazmul Islam, another passenger who managed to buy a ticket for Jessore, said: “I had to wait a long time before I could buy a ticket, which does not happen usually. Many buses are off the road, but I am not unhappy. Unfit drivers and vehicles have no right to serve us.”
However, Golden Line bus service Sales Executive Avijit Bishwas claimed the number of buses was sufficient and it was passenger turnout which was low.
“Our buses have all the necessary documents, but people are scared and not leaving their homes, so the number of passengers is very low,” he said.
Meanwhile, bus drivers have said that they are not worried about the students, but fear police may take advantage of the present situation to “cause mischief.”