Rickshaws emerge lifeline amid poor public transport

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Several thousand auto rickshaws are filling in the vacuum created by inadequate and improper public transport system in the city. The city’s public transport system is not even capable of catering to 5% of the existing population. Moreover, due to the absence of a farsighted action plan, several experiments to revive public transport have failed, resulting in steep rise in number of personal vehicles and auto rickshaws further leading to traffic jams and air pollution. While the guardian minister has promised five electric buses to the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC ), the condition of the city bus stands and battery-charging mechanism again raises questions on the credibility of this plan. According to the regional transport authority (RTO), it has given permit to 17,500 rickshaws in the city while another 500 rickshaws will get permit in the New Year. Though these rickshaws add to the traffic menace, they are the only consolation for the people on foot. Aurangabad being the divisional headquarter has students coming from nearby tehsils to study here, As Reported By TOI.

According to the Newspaper, These students do not have their personal vehicle and depend on public transport for commuting. In absence of sufficient buses, share autorickshaws are their only saving grace. From 2005-2010, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had hired an Akola-based contractor to run its bus service with a fleet of around 60 buses. However, owing to the losses incurred the services had to shut down. Since, then the MSRTC is handling the public transport by running 30 to 26 buses.

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