UDHAGAMANDALAM: The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Coimbatore Division, started the operation of ‘circuit buses’ for tourists on Friday, ahead of Tamil New Year day. The bus service will take tourists sightseeing to all five tourist spots in the hill town at a cost of `90 for adults and Rs 50 for children.
The buses will run from the Central Bus Stand near the railway station to the Boat House, the Government Botanical Garden, the Children’s Park, the Government Rose Garden and Doddabetta.
On the inaugural day, a good number of tourists approached the conductors at the Central Bus Stand. The conductors, most of whom are young, said, “A large number of tourists opted for the circuit buses to reach Doddabetta. The rates are lower than auto and taxi fares. Tourists were comfortable travelling in the buses with their children. We explained to the tourists that once they bought tickets they could board any circuit bus at any place at any time of the day. They can spend as much time as they want in each spot and not worry about returning in the same bus.” Private agencies which have package tours have increased fares this year from `150 to `200 per head. Private operators take tourists from hotels in vans to all these five tourist spots. Taxi operators have increased the full day fare to `1,500 from `1,200 (for ordinary cars).
TNSTC sources said that there would be a great demand for the circuit buses from May Day to the end of the month. Tourists would depend on these buses during the three-day Flower Show from May 18 to 20.