Though Metropolitan Transport Corporation has been operating Volvo AC services for a few years now, the facility, which commuters felt at the time of its launch would provide them a comfortable and luxurious ride, now have been cut short for most passengers travelling on selective routes, say commuters. In fact, Express photojournalists who trekked across town had trouble spotting a single one all day in the heart of the city!
Alexander, a commuter who used to travel by Volvo AC bus within the city alleges that MTC reduced bus frequency within the city and is concentrating only on the IT-corridor. “For example, I used to travel on route 29 C from Perambur to Besant Nagar, but now I hardly see any AC bus on that route. If I have to talk about the facility, I feel, cooling is not maintained properly on these buses. Sometimes it sweats and the commuter sits clueless whether the AC is working or not,” he adds.
According to Naveen Raj, a student, AC buses are often a godsend for people plying along the IT corridor — the frequency is good, distances are covered in shorter time, though crowded during peak hours. “It is very sad that over time, the AC buses that used to cover many routes have been cancelled calling them non profitable AC routes like D70 (Ambattur Estate to Vijaynagar), A51 (Broadway to Tambaram), 5A (T Nagar to Tambaram) and more, it is sad to see these buses cater to a select few these days, rather than reach out to more routes,” the student adds.
Another commuter S Santhosh , an IT employee, says, “I travel on route 102 from Parrys to Shollinganallur. Frequency is there, but the facilities inside the bus should be improved. There is no seat adjusting lever and also seats are slippery. The commuter who sits on the back seat doesn’t feel stable during over-speeding of the bus. For this, they could have provided seat belts. Otherwise it’s useful for people working in IT corridors,” he says.
The MTC website shows that there are only 96 Vovlo AC services against 1,457 Ordinary, 1,102 Deluxe and 872 Express services.