[Satire] BEST Buses To Stop At Bus Stops For Two Minutes

BEST today announced that henceforth all buses would stop at bus stops for atleast two minutes irrespective of whether passengers boarded or disembarked.
This announcement came following the speech by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha where he quoted British economist John Maynard Keynes and said “In the long run we are all dead” yesterday.

A boy running to catch a bus (Representative).
A boy running to catch a bus (Representative). Image copyright Fengalon. Image in Public Domain.

When contacted, BEST chairman Mohan Ramchandra Mithbaokar was unavailable to comment. We were told by his assistant that the new move was to give commuters ample time to reach the bus stop. “If people run to catch a bus, it could be dangerous, they might die,” we were told. “Hence, the order was issued that all buses would stop for a few minutes to allow those running to slow down and walk to the bus. We are also planning to insure people who buy tickets in case the long run kills them,” he added.

Meanwhile, when contacted, NMMT chairman Saboo Daniel was visibly angry. “BEST thinks they can outdo us? No way! We will beat them to this. We will show that we care more for the passenger than they do. We will prevent their buses from stopping in Navi Mumbai just like we prevented their buses from entering our depots. Why, we’ll even stop our buses everywhere so that people do not have to run or walk at all! That way, nobody will die in the long run!”, he fumed. When asked if NMMT had any insurance plans like BEST, he said, “It is only needed if people run right?”

We just hope that whenever these happen, nobody will die in the long run.

BEST to take additional measures to prevent people from dying in the long run! Click To Tweet

Note: All content in this article is fictitious, and must not be taken seriously. This article is satire, and should ideally be treated as such.

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[Satire] Apple Reveals Why The iPhone 7 Has No Headphone Jack

Cupertino: A day after Apple announced the new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2, Apple has announced a new feature in the iPhone 7 that is bound to excite users, mainly in what is seen as an attempt to explain why the new phones do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Independent and out of work reporter Aapil Saathukudinathan managed to sneak in through the air ducts of Apple’s head office at 1, Infinity Loop and hold a developer hostage with smelly socks till he divulged details of Apple’s top secret plans.

What he reveals, of course, is quite amazing. Aapil writes:

Apple is working on revolutionising the Transportation sector. They’re planning to take on Uber, Tesla, General Motors head on.

For the past six years, Apple has had a new Underground Research and Development centre, located under ground somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. They’ve been trying to build a prototype of a personal transit vehicle, intriguingly called the iCar. The prototype did revolutionise transit by providing an electric car with completely closed windows and air-conditioning all at all times, but failed because charging it with the Apple Lightning Connector wasn’t such a great idea. A proposal to produce a prototype iBike was trashed because bikes were apparently too mainstream for Apple. A similar iBus prototype model was built, but it had the same problem as the others. After an intervention from the Government of the US, Apple worked on a prototype at Area 51 for an iPlane based iSpaceship. However, all of these were scrapped because of the Lightning Charger.

Now, coming back to the iPhone 7. While most people think that removing the 3.5mm headphone jack was foolish, Apple has indeed, had other plans for it. The removal of the jack was to position a new microchip, which Apple calls iTransit.

This iTransit chip, is also the reason behind Apple’s new AirPods. These new devices, which have a built in accelerometers and optical sensors, also feature a Revolutionary Thrust Engine within them.

Apple Airpods
Apple AirPods. Image credits NBC News

This new Thrust Engine, thankfully not called iThrust, will literally lift the user into the sky and fly them to their destination. The device shape will ensure that they don’t fall out of the user’s ears. The iTransit app, will track users realtime, and automatically make adjustments to prevent traffic jams and collisions mid-air.

To travel, all one needs to do is wear the new AirPods, open the iTransit app [still in development], and enter the destination. The AirPods, once they use the advanced technology to ensure that they are properly placed in the ear, will automatically power itself up and take the user to their destination. During flight, a user can use the AirPods as headphones as well and continue listening to their beats. iTransit can also be controlled using Siri.

However, iTransit will be a paid service. While the App itself will cost $1.99 to purchase from the iTunes App Store, Apple will also charge users for using the service. Users can either pay for an unlimited plan, or a pay-as-you-use plan on a distance wise-basis. A free plan will also be introduced, wherein ads will be played during transit.

Apple intends to market this to China where 100km long traffic jams have been experienced and India, because everybody from Bangalore is complaining about Central Silk Board.

Once Aapil Saathukudinathan, managed to sneak his way out, for the Apple employee had passed out due to the smelly socks, he made his way to the Googleplex at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View and later on to Redmond to the Microsoft head office. Alphabet immediately announced plans to put the Google Driverless Car on standby and start work on a new and updated version of Google Glasses called Google Fly which would allow people to fly, while Microsoft decided, they’d provide the software to Google for the new product.

Aapil Saathukudinathan is now back in India, after having fooled the US and Indian authorities by flying without a valid visa.

Note: All content in this article is fictitious, and must not be taken seriously. This article is satire, and should ideally be treated as such.

 This post is dedicated to my Gurus, Ashwin S Kumar of The Unreal Times and Rahul Roushan of Faking News.
I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter. Current rank: 711432 globally and 61149 in India.
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[Satire] Taxi Services in India take a Hike

Taxi and Ridesharing services in India have decided to upgrade their services in India to give a boost to the ailing market. Both Multinational entities as well as their local counterparts have decided to take the game to the next level.

UberMob and OlaMafia

Uber and Ola have launched their new services: UberMob and OlaMafia, although it is unclear at this point as to who launched what first. Touted as the first legitimate Taxi service for Gangsters, both companies are looking to great successes with the new launch.

On condition of anonymity, an employee at Uber stated, “We want Indians to experience the same feeling that people living on Staten Island experience.” When contacted, an employee of Ola retorted, “We just want our customers to experience an Uber ride in Delhi”. Industry sources stated that the two were keen on emulating an American local cab fleet that protested against Uber with taxicabs designed like cars owned by mobsters, complete with doors without handles on the inside of the car. Uber officials were rumoured to be deputing their notorious Delhi service provider range for this, while Ola has been said to favour its Bangalore fleet’s drivers.

Excited Uber employees also leaked out news that the company was willing to try out something drastic, like attaching a city bus after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was seen taking a ride in a BEST bus. Ola employees, coincidentally, within minutes leaked out plans to expand OlaBoats to include a submarine, specially for Mumbai and Chennai rains.

Handicar

Handicar from South Park.
Handicar from South Park. Image copyright Comedy Central.

American Network Comedy Central announced its foray into the Personal Transport space with Handicar. Handicar, which formed the basis of a South Park episode, involves a Wheelchair user with a Cart attached behind it. Drivers wear a cap, known as a “Handicap”. Users are a provided a complimentary snack and beverage.

A South Park Studios animator anonymously stated that the company intended to redraw the Handicar with Toon Boom, and print it using a 3D printer. Handicar drivers would also be provided with a Mask of Timmy’s face which would be fitted with a Voice box that would randomly yell “Timmy!” with different variations and tones. They were keen on starting the service in India because they liked the booming ride-sharing industry and the fact that it would be easy to run the vehicle without a permit.

When contacted, Kyle Broflovski and Stan Marsh were unable for comment. Eric Cartman was attending the funeral of Kenny McCormick. Kenny was last killed when his orange parka got caught under the wheels of a Handicar.

Handicar is coming to India! Click To Tweet

Mooch

In a Desi-twist, Avinash Sharma, who claims to be the “Sharmaji ke bete” who scores higher than all the boys around him, announced a new service named ‘Mooch’. Twirling his mustache, he said, “Mooch is a brand name, identifiable by both its name and appearance. The Mustache is a true man’s identity. Mooch seeks to create a brand of it.” When asked if the idea of Mooch might violate trademarks of Lyft in the USA, Sharmaji’s son replied, “There the cab has a mooch, here the driver has a mooch. The cab has a fluorescent pink mooch that lights up and our drivers will have a jet-black [Kesh Kala] mooch that will be waxed nicely. Only drivers with a mustache similar to mine will be employed.”

Recruitment is going on to hire mustached drivers for Mooch. 35 drivers have been selected so far, across a two week period, with many of them emerging from Kanpur and parts of Chhattisgarh as well as from the Satyamangalam forest which used to be the former hideout of the notorious bandit Veerappan. Training is being given to potential drivers to groom their mooch well.

Presenting Mooch- The Mustached way to travel! Click To Tweet

B’Ve

Started by a student as a dedication to his professor of a prestigious Media College, in Western India, B’Ve is touted to be an upper luxury hatchback service. While no major details are available at this time, it is rumoured that all drivers are to have long hair in a Bandana and drive Maroon-coloured Hyundai i20s.

(S)mooch

A rather cliched startup, this is a product of AyyoLabs. We aren’t trying to imitate Mooch”, says founder Raghu Iyer. He adds, “(S)mooch is much more than ride-sharing. It’s life-sharing. It’s a combination of a ride-sharing app as well as a dating app. Couples looking for a ride are randomly matched on the basis of what they enter on their profile. The profile data is cross-checked and verified with their parents, and Kundlis. The service is right now only available for TamBrahms”.

Ride-sharing is old, it’s now time for life-sharing! Click To Tweet

With such massive changes in the transport industry, we have a lot coming in in the near future.

Apart from this, you also have the choice of taking Hawala Travels.

Note: All content in this article is fictitious, and must not be taken seriously. This article is satire, and should ideally be treated as such.

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A Prepaid Card system for Manual Fare Collection

Presenting: #1 on the list of things that shouldn’t be implemented in the transport world, as well as a Logistical Nightmare: A Prepaid Card system for Manual Fare Collection.

A template for a punched bus ticket.
A template for a punched bus ticket.

Now, the concept of a prepaid card works well with an Automatic Fare Collection system in place, but would it work with a manual one?
Of course it would, why not? However, there are some things that need to be factored in this case.

Presenting, with images [designed by yours truly], a Prepaid Card for Manual Fare Collection Systems, or, a Prepaid Card for Punched Tickets, or a Prepaid Punched Card. Geeks like me will naturally be excited by this idea, as much as we are with out collection of Vintage IBM Punched Cards.

The concept is simple. Like in the case of the BEST Prepaid Card, the Commuter needs to have an ID card. Since we are looking at a non-computerised system, the ID Card can be similar to PMPML’s ID cards, which are nothing but cardboard ID cards with a photo stuck onto it, stamped, a Hologram sticker, and the Users Name, Age, and Address. There is no record kept of the card anywhere. The date of issue is stamped on top, and so is the Serial Number. The same can apply here, except, perhaps a copy of the User information can be kept as backup.

Now, before we go into the actual system, one thing needs to be done: All fares must be rationalised into multiples of 5, like what PMPML did. Once this is done, the rest is a piece of cake.

Now for the Punched Card:

  • Have a card [not a sheet] with a fixed denomination. Ideally ₹200 or ₹500 would be good. A template for a ₹500 is provided below.
  • Since all fares, passes, et al are in denominations of ₹5,  when a passenger buys a ticket, the conductor issues the ticket and punches out the number of ₹5s that have been sold on the card. If a passenger buys a ten rupee ticket, and a 5 rupee ticket, the conductor issues the tickets normally, and punches out 3 5s from the card.
A Prepaid Punched Card for Manual Fare Collection systems
A Prepaid Punched Card for Manual Fare Collection systems

Now, hold on. There is problem here:

In a manual fare collection system, how is the total fare collection calculated?

The entire route is divided into different stages with each stage having a few bus stops. Tickets are issued between two or more stages. At the end of each stage, the conductor writes down the serial number of the ticket on top of the bundle for each denomination onto a log sheet provided. This is often time consuming and this was the reason why ETMs were introduced in the first place. The number of tickets sold per denomination is calculated, multiplied by the denomination, and totalled at the end of the trip. This is then compared with the cash collected. What could be the problem here?

Now, for the aforementioned problem. There will be a major discrepancy in the cash collected vs tickets sold.

How do you solve this?

Simple: Follow the BMTC method of Daily Passes!

In 2010, BMTC had introduced the Concept of Loyalty Cards; an ID card valid for one year, priced at ₹25 instead of the ₹100 ID card which Monthly Pass holders had for a three year period. Then, they charged ₹5 extra for people who wanted non-AC Daily Passes but did not have either the ID Card or the Loyalty Card. The net result? BMTC conductors had to carry two different sets of passes, one for the ID holders and one for others. They sold passes and ensured that ID holders filled in their details.

The Transco just has to give out a second set of tickets for Prepaid Card Holders. Colour code them if needed, or keep an identifying pattern on them. Issue them to Prepaid card holders only. This will supremely increase the work-load of conductors, but then, that is precisely why this article starts with the equivalent of a “Do not attempt this at home.” kind of warning.

Impact of this ridiculous idea:

  • Conductors will work more.
  • The Organisation will have to print more tickets.
  • Passengers may increase.

So there you have it folks, as stated earlier, Do Not Attempt This At Home. This needs to be junked and never implemented, but who knows? Somewhere, someone might just be doing this!

Note: It is unsure at this stage if JAT used this or not.

Prepaid Cards and Punched Tickets: An idea. Click To Tweet

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

 

 

 

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The Laws of Waiting for Buses

Ever waited for a bus only to get frustrated? Well, let’s have a closer look at it shall we?

Before we jump into this madness, let me keep two random statements in front:

  1. Murphy’s Law

    Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

  2. The Peter Principle

    In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.

Now, the above two statements are just there for the sake of being there. But, they will make a lot of sense after reading the rest of the article.

So, while waiting for a bus to arrive, you will observe some irritating and painful occurrences.

Presenting to you, my dear readers, The Laws of Waiting for Buses:

  1. As you reach the bus stop, you will miss as many buses possible and then none shall come.
    This law states that, ”As you approach the bus stop, maximum number of buses shall speed past you in the direction you intend to travel in, and shall cease as soon as you reach the bus stop.”
    Originally posted here.
  2. The bus you wait for shall never come, forcing you to take an alternative bus.
    This law states that, “If you are waiting for a specific bus number or a bus that follows a specific route, that bus or set of buses will not arrive till you are frustrated to the point of taking another bus, one that may involve multiple changeovers, or a longer route.”
    Originally posted here.
  3. When you give up on a bus is when it has the maximum probability of arriving.
    This law builds up on the previous law, and states that, “When you finally reach the frustration point and take the different bus, that is the moment in time when the bus you had been waiting for all along has the highest probability of arriving.”
    Originally posted here.
  4. When I was on the other side of the Road, a dozen buses sped by … Now I’m on this side, waiting, and not one bus is in sight …
    This law is similar to first one and states that, “When you are waiting for a bus that isn’t going to come anytime soon, you will see plenty of buses go by in the opposite direction.
    Originally posted here.
  5. The bus stops I choose have the least number of buses for my destination.
    This law states that, “When you reach a particular bus stop, it will have the least number of buses heading towards your destination.”
    Originally posted here.

So, in the end, the frustration builds up, and we end up taking an Uber, or an Ola. If you live in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, you will end up taking an auto or a train.

Note: Most of these incidents happen due to a phenomenon known as Bus Bunching. Bus bunching, also known as Bus Clumping, refers to a group of two or more bus, which were scheduled to be evenly spaced running along the same route, instead running in the same location at the same time.

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