Dhaka commuters saw no letup in the crisis of public transports on city roads on Thursday.
In the absence of adequate number of buses, on the last work day of this week, hundreds of them had to wait in long queues on different bus stops – this was what they had been experiencing for the last few days.
Many buses remained off roads to avoid an imposition of tough penalties for traffic rule violations by the mobile courts of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) under the new transport law.
City people could not reach their destinations in time in spite of paying high fare on other modes of transportation like CNG-run auto-rickshaw.
While talking to The Business Standard, commuters at different spots in the capital shared their bitter experiences while going to their workplaces.
Elma Khandoker, a resident at Adabor area, said she normally goes to her office in Mohakhali DOHS by bus. But now her transport cost has risen 5-6 times as she is not getting public transport.
"I have not been getting buses at Shaymoli point since last Monday. When will the crisis go? I cannot bear it anymore," she added.
Banker Sourav Tofazzal said he has to take a ridesharing trip on a motorcycle to go to his office in Motijheel from Shewrapara, which is costing him extra bucks.
The female commuters are the worst affected for the lack of public transports on roads.
Nigar Sulata, who was waiting for at least 45 minutes to get on a bus, said, "I am not able to hire an auto-rickshaw or take a ridesharing trip."
"I do not know when this struggle will end," she said with frustration.
Officials from the traffic division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said public transport drivers and staff are still in a dilemma over the new transport law.
Subir Ranjan Das, assistant commissioner of Mohakhali traffic zone, said, "Most drivers have no driving licence; buses are also waiting for fitness certificates. That is why the number of city buses operating on city roads has decreased."
Abdullah Al Mamun of Badda traffic zone also came up with a similar observation.
"Public sufferings would not be solved until they [drivers] acquire proper driving licences," he said.
Meanwhile, the BRTA's mobile courts sued only 37 vehicles and collected Tk35,500 in fines from different seven spots in the capital on Thursday.
The mobile courts were set up at Manik Miah Avenue, Adabar, Mirpur-1, Gendaria, Khalpar, Khilkhet and Uttara area.
BRTA Director (enforcement) AKM Masudur Rahman said the mobile court drives would remain suspended for the next two days - Friday and Saturday.