CHENNAI: Of the more than 300 new Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (MTC) buses that have been introduced in the city recently, a lion’s share has been allotted to the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) to cash in on the IT sector.
But, residents worry that there is not a single bus pass renewal centre across the entire stretch of OMR. The commuters are forced to travel to Thiruvanmiyur bus terminus or Adyar to renew bus passes. Except for Thiruvanmiyur, even East Coast Road (ECR) lacks bus pass renewal centres.
Numerous commuters including college students, working professionals and even labourers renew the monthly ‘Travel As You Please’ pass for Rs 1,000 and other concession passes priced at Rs 320, Rs 370, Rs 410, Rs 450, Rs 500, Rs 540, Rs 590, Rs 630 and Rs 670.
Thousands of commuters from ECR and OMR use MTC buses to reach their offices daily. Commuters from areas such as Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Kelambakkam, Sholinganallur, Padur, Neelankarai, Injambakkam and Navalur among others, are affected by the lack of bus pass renewal centres.
“OMR and ECR are deemed as the most happening areas in Chennai, thanks to the development of the IT sector as well as hospitality and healthcare sectors, and commercial real estate projects. The lakhs of residents of these two localities with the largest electorate in the state are lacking even basic facilities including a bus pass renewal centre,” said R Ramaswamy, a retired banker residing in Sholinganallur.
He said that most of the housemaids and construction workers in the area commute by bus and lack of a bus pass renewal centre is forcing them to take share autorickshaws, which charge considerably higher, comparatively.
Since the IT corridor is devoid of local trains, after Thiruvanmiyur/Taramani, MTC and share autorickshaws are the two public transport options available for commuters. As many as 346 buses operate on OMR daily and the number of trips taken per day goes up to 3,983.
“Firstly, in Thiruvanmiyur too, there is only one counter for renewal which is always crowded. So, we have to travel for two hours to reach the terminus and again wait for at least an hour to renew the pass. It is ridiculous,” said V Balan, a resident of Kannagi Nagar. Suggesting a solution, Ramani Mohan, a regular commuter, said, “If the Corporation does not have enough funds to construct a permanent renewal centre inside a bus terminus, they can open weekly temporary counters in two or three locations across the stretch.” Despite repeated attempts, officials could not be contacted for their response on the issue.
- Number of buses: 346
- Number of trips taken every day: 3,983
- Number of bus pass renewal centres on OMR: NIL
- Nearest Renewal Center: Thiruvanmiyur
Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Kelambakkam, Sholinganallur, Padur, Neelankarai, Injambakkam, Kannagi Nagar, Semmanchery and Navalur among others.