The Bhutanese newspaper carried a story in its last issue on the lack of monitoring by RSTA over passenger buses and the various problems faced by the public. This is coupled with social media complaints from many real people on the condition and services of these buses.
RSTA instead of taking action against the transport companies and buses is not happy with the media and social media complaints and instead urged complainants to take ownership of their complaints with ‘valid evidences’ and also demand that bus operators take equal responsibility in monitoring the conditions of their buses.
RSTA said, “A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about some part of the service, which is a result of a real or ‘imagined’ offense. If you have a complaint about a journey then the first thing you need to do is talk to your bus driver because we would like to provide them a chance to resolve your issue but if you are not happy with the way the bus driver handles your complaints, you will need to contact RSTA with a valid information such as what kind of bus service you were using and the number of the bus and the bus driver, the precise date and time of the incident and what went wrong and enclosing your ticket if possible”.
RSTA’s Director General PembaWangchuk said, “RSTA is committed to responding appropriately to passenger’s complaints. All complaints and feedback will be handled equitably, objectively and in an unbiased manner but instead of posting various negative comments on social media platform like Facebook, we would appreciate if a single person could come to us and assist us with timely, accurate and sufficient information, being ‘courteous’ and respectful in your dealings with us and listening carefully and communicating carefully”.
“Regarding public transportation, not even a single person came to us expressing their dissatisfaction about bus services and bus drivers. If people come to us with valid information, we shall look into the matter and accordingly penalize”, he added.
The DG also said, “Over charging is a serious issue and we have to intervene and just recently a passenger who was travelling from Paro International Airport in one of the taxi filed a complaint with RSTA stating the taxi driver charged him Nu 500 which is so unreasonable. So like in this matter, we will intervene and take action because the complaint is valid as the complainants provided all the related information about the taxi, taxi driver and the incident”.
RSTA argued, “While we understand that it is our responsibility to monitor passenger buses, those people who complain of lack of monitoring by RSTA over transport buses must know that there are around 40-50 buses travelling in about 60-30 minutes and buses to Phuentsholing moves in every 30 minutes and it is practically difficult for one RSTA official to monitor all the buses. Human resources are yet another issue and we had decided to propose for additional resources”.
He said, “When passenger complains about the poor conditions of buses like broken windows, torn seats and buses breaking down on the way, I want them to know that the case is not only with buses but even private vehicles do break down”.
“It is not only RSTA’s responsibility to monitor transport buses but even the bus operators are equally responsible because if a bus driver carries extra luggage and passengers and if they don’t check the condition of their buses, the cost of damage say around Nu 30,000-40,000 falls on them alone and not on anyone else if the damage occurs”.