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Extended holiday increases patronage of special buses

However, buses plying to Vellore, Arani, Tiruvannamalai and other neighbouring areas from Poonamallee and Tambaram run with full occupancy.

Published: 03rd November 2021 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2021 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

With Deepavali just a day away, crowds swarmed the Koyambedu bus stand in Chennai to board buses to their native on Tuesday | debadatta mallick

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The special buses operated to facilitate transportation of commuters for Deepavali are witnessing a moderate crowd this year, thanks to extended holidays. Over one lakh commuters have booked tickets online to travel in government buses as on Tuesday.

Official sources said about 9,806 buses have been scheduled to ferry commuters from Chennai to other parts of the State. On Monday, special buses witnessed limited patronage. Soon after November 5 was declared a public holiday, the patronage slightly improved. On Tuesday, the occupancy levels rose to 80 per cent in most buses operated from Koyambedu and Madhavaram, said transport officials.

However, buses plying to Vellore, Arani, Tiruvannamalai and other neighbouring areas from Poonamallee and Tambaram run with full occupancy. “The city gets the highest floating population from Tiruvallur, Vellore, Ranipet, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvannamalai districts. People from there have returned to Chennai in large numbers after the lockdown relaxation. So, the buses running to smaller towns in these districts have a huge demand,” explained the official.

Besides, transport officials penalised 222 omni and travel buses for collecting exorbitant fares from commuters in the past two days. “About Rs 3.11 lakh penalty was collected from private buses for various violations. In addition, Rs 57,000 road tax was collected from errant vehicles. As many as eight buses have also been seized,” said a press note from the transport department.

Inspection on private buses will continue till November 8, and travellers can complain of excessive fare at 1800 425 6151. Transport Minister RS Raja Kannappan visited Koyambedu bus stand on Tuesday and took stock of the arrangements.



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