Why did the monkey cross the road? To pick passengers up at the next bus stop, of course. At least that is the story that a bus driver in northern India is going to have to start telling people. In the city of Bareilly, located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, a bus driver earlier this week thought that he had earned a short break. Little did he know that a monkey was about to destroy all of his plans and cause quite a bit of panic among pedestrians who saw a driverless vehicle barreling in their direction.
Indian buses have both a driver and a conductor. On Monday, the conductor for the bus route from Pilibhit to Bareilly decided that there was an extra 30 minutes until the next departure and stepped away from the vehicle to locate riders. The driver of that same route decided to take a quick power nap in the last row of seats on the bus until the conductor returned. About ten minutes after he’d fallen asleep, the unnamed driver awoke as he felt the bus rumbling to life. As he quickly looked toward the front door, he was shocked to see that a monkey had climbed onto the steering wheel, turned the key in the ignition, and, as the driver rushed toward the simian, put the bus into drive.
After putting the vehicle in gear, the monkey leapt out the window. The driver, meanwhile, attempted to get behind the wheel and stop the bus before it caused any damage. Unfortunately, he was not successful. Before he was able to press the brakes, his bus had already crashed into two other buses parked at the transit station. Fortunately, no bystanders were seriously injured, although seven people were forced to jump out of the way as the monkey put the bus in gear.
The manager for Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC), the organization responsible for the buses involved in the accident, told the media after the incident that the city’s population of over 50,000 monkeys is a constant hassle for transit workers. The small animals frequently steal tools and destroy CCTVs located at bus stations in the urban area. UPSRTC is in the process of finding a contractor to remove the monkeys from their facilities, but a removal occurred three years ago after a similar monkey accident, so maybe a more effective solution is necessary, like putting the primates on the payroll.