December 21, 2012

The Root Cause for Bus Footboard Accidents

Hi Guys,

A few days back there was a grave accident in Chennai where four students were killed in a bus accident. They were travelling in the footboard and a lorry crashed into them. It was a very shocking incident. It was a hot topic for one or two days and then it was forgotten.

The next day there was an article in Times of India about how the Transport Corporation operates fewer fleets due to lack of man power (2400 buses instead of 3300 available). Yet, their revenue never decreased. It is said that revenue increases when there is less availability of buses as it leads to people swapping buses after a short duration. On the day of accident, the bus had 120 passengers.

The next day High Court issued an order that schools can detain students travelling in Footboard. Most of the students don’t travel in footboard for fun. They travel as they don’t have any option. We should look into the backdrop of the problem and solve the root cause.

During my college days I have observed as to how the public buses are so crowded just before the school and college timings. General advice given is ‘Why don’t students catch the bus early?’ How early? I have seen most of the buses very busy for a long time in the morning. Yes, some problem does lie with the students for waiting till the last minute. In the afternoon very few people travel in most of the routes and yet there will be lot of buses. If you notice closely, the number of people travelling in Footboard is more in the morning than in the evening (as there is no Time Pressure).

Five days after the accident took place, I was travelling to Chennai around 8 am. It was the same route (OMR). It was a Saturday. Yet, I was able to see the bus full of passengers. There was no one standing in the footboard. But there were lot of school students and office going people. From the amount of people in the bus stops and the usual number of buses in that route, it was obvious that there was too much demand and too less supply. If it was the condition on Saturday, then what about week days when more schools and more offices are working.

The students don’t have any other option. The number of buses should be increased. Asking schools to detain those students doesn’t work practically. Will the schools accept students coming late? Never. The whole concept fails there.

The sad part is the whole issue is forgotten within a few days of the incident. It is so sad. Everyone blamed the students for the mistake and the Transport Corporation or Government officials never even bothered to look inside the case.

Hope something better is done and future accidents are avoided.

P.S: Didn’t finish with my usual style of Happy Reading. It’s not a happy one.


  1. thought provoking post. please try sending it to a good news daily

  2. Its the same situation everywhere. The local trains are jam packed in Mumbai. Buses are full at peak hours neither are autos available at those hours easily. Increasing the number of buses is the only solution. Have a nice day Karthick :)

  3. That’s true! No one will like standing or hanging for long time when there’s enough space or seats inside the bus. The government must leave special buses for school and college students on a route traveled most. Thanks for writing on this.

  4. Is it the root cause? No.. Probably overloaded buses.


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