How many of us give a second thought to our drivers, who transport us day in and out whether in the city or outside? We at TicketGoose would like you to meet some of the unsung heroes who have been playing a pivotal part in our lives every day.
For 39-year-old Ramappa, who has been on the driver’s seat for the last 18 years, his passengers’ safety is the topmost priority. A Volvo bus driver with Seabird Travels on the Bangalore to Goa route since the past two years, he has never taken his family along in the bus while on duty. He says even if they were to travel with him, he wouldn’t go on to treat them specially, but would consider them to be like other passengers. Ramappa speaks to TicketGoose.com about his experiences, precautions he takes, the advantages of a bus over other modes of transport like trains and airplanes along with some advice for travelers.
TicketGoose: What are the types of buses that you have driven so far? Tell us about the routes you have travelled in the course of your career?
Ramappa: Ashok Leyland and Tata, including A/C, non-A/C, seater and sleeper buses between places such as Goa, Mumbai, Hubli, Sirsi, Gokarna, Yellapura, Karwar and Mangalore.
TicketGoose: Tell us something about your family.
Ramappa: I have a wife and 2 children. My family members have not traveled in any bus I was driving. Even if they travel, I would treat them like other passengers.
TicketGoose: Any memorable trip?
Ramappa: Of course, like everyone else in the profession, I have one, too. It was my first journey from Bangalore to Sonda (Uttara Kannada district) as the journey was full of dangerous curves. Taking passengers safely through the meandering road was a challenge indeed, but I managed well.
TicketGoose: How do you feel transporting so many people to their destinations, to the loved ones, to their place of work?
Ramappa: As a person with the responsibility of carrying so many passengers safely, I never compromise on it. So many lives are at stake and they depend on me to reach their destinations safely. Therefore, there are some guidelines that I follow. I never try to overtake, over-speed or drive when I am feeling drowsy. Also, I maintain extreme caution while driving at night or on ghat roads.
TicketGoose: What are your responsibilities towards passengers?
Ramappa: Like I said earlier, I never compromise on passengers’ safety. Since they place their complete trust on us, we ensure that they reach their destinations at the right time safely.
TicketGoose: Given an option, do you prefer a train or a bus?
Ramappa: You can reach your destination faster by bus rather than in train. Besides, you can alight at the stop of your choice, unlike alighting at a railway station no matter how far it is from your home. Also, in case of a medical emergency, a bus can take you to a nearby hospital, but not a train. Yes, the only disadvantage of a bus is the absence of mobile toilet facilities. Nowadays there are buses that have the option, but I am yet to drive a bus with toilet facilities.
TicketGoose: Would you like to give any advice to your passengers?
Ramappa: Please don’t disturb the driver while he is driving; do not drink and travel as it disturbs other passengers; and do not speak loudly over the phone, especially in a sleeper bus.