The fare of Deluxe service cost two times the ordinary bus fare
CHENNAI: A section of bus commuters from south Chennai, Ayanavaram, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, and north Chennai rue that ordinary bus services of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) are frequently converted into Express and Deluxe buses, forcing them to pay additional ticket fare. While the MTC officials maintained that there is no reduction in ordinary services, the transport corporation refused to divulge the exact number of ordinary bus services operated in Chennai city.
“M7 (T Nagar-Thiruvanmiyur) route provides connectivity with Thiruvanmiyur for the people of Velachery and Baby Nagar. The bus was recently diverted at Velachery junction owing to bridge construction work. For the past few months, all the ordinary buses of M7 have been discontinued. We had to travel by Express and Deluxe buses, and pay more,” said S Giri of Baby Nagar, Velachery. The regular commuters raised similar complaints about 19 A (T Nagar-Kelambakkam), 170C (Thiru Vi Ka Nagar-Guindy), 23C (Ayanavaram-Thiruvanmiyur), 119 (T Nagar-Semmancheri), and 570 ( T Nagar - Siruseri) routes.
Daily commuters say that when they made an inquiry with the conductor, they were informed that bus services changed at the whims of the branch managers at bus depots. “The non-peak hour service of 19A, which operated with ordinary fare, was run with a board that read Express, last week. The type of bus services were frequently changed by the officials at the depot level forcing us to pay additional fares,” said K Krishnan of T Nagar.
The Express bus ticket fares charged 1.5 times the ordinary fare, while the fare of Deluxe service cost twice the ordinary bus fare. According to the revised ticket fare which came into effect on January 20 this year, the minimum ticket fare for Deluxe bus is `13 per ticket, while Express and ordinary bus services charge `9 and `5 respectively.With the fleet capacity of 3,200 buses, the MTC carries about 33 lakh passengers a day in Chennai city, and parts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. The buses are operated in 833 routes from 33 depots. The per day revenue of MTC through ticket collection is `2.90 crore.
Until January 2018, on an average, every MTC bus plied about 260 km catering to 1,200 commuters a day. However, the average patronage of MTC bus has dropped by 100-200 commuters a day, recently. When contacted, a senior official in MTC said that the ordinary services of MTC fleet cannot be reduced without prior approval from the government. “When the Corporation has already lost lakhs of commuters, why would we increase the Deluxe services?” asked the officer, adding that if any branch-level official found to have dwindled ordinary services, “we will take necessary action.” Despite repeated attempts, MTC refused to reveal the number of ordinary, Express and Deluxe buses in its fleet.