MTC conductors told not to insist on exact change

Another conductor added, “The minimum fare for a deluxe bus is Rs 9. Even pavement shops accept payments as low as Rs 5 through Paytm or Google Pay.
A section of conductors objected to the circular saying that they no longer get lower denomination currencies and often receive only `200 and Rs 500 notes. (Photo | Express)
A section of conductors objected to the circular saying that they no longer get lower denomination currencies and often receive only `200 and Rs 500 notes. (Photo | Express)

CHENNAI:  In the wake of repeated complaints, the MTC on Wednesday instructed conductors not to insist commuters provide exact change. A section of conductors objected to the circular saying that they no longer get lower denomination currencies (Rs 10, 20, and 50) from commuters as its circulation appears to have come down, and they often receive only Rs 200 and Rs 500 notes. The bus crew has also placed blame on the administration for not implementing a cashless payment system.

In a circular, joint managing director of MTC, said bus crew should maintain politeness and respect while interacting with commuters. The directive specified that conductors should politely inform passengers to collect the remaining balance if they cannot provide the exact change. Official sources said depots have received numerous complaints stating that the demand for exact change has been causing inconvenience and stress among commuters.

The directive further states, “Conductors should be commuter-friendly. If they are found to be humiliating passengers for not having exact change, the respective depot managers are instructed to take appropriate disciplinary action.” S Ramkumar (name changed), a conductor at CMBT with 25 years of service said, “Ten years ago, while working on deluxe services, I used to receive at least 80 to 100 lower denomination currencies (Rs 10, 20, and 50) for a single trip. But in recent years, we only get 20 to 30 such notes. Most commuters claim that ATMs dispense only Rs 200 and Rs 500 notes. The situation is more stressful for us than for the commuters.”

Another conductor added, “The minimum fare for a deluxe bus is `9. Even pavement shops accept payments as low as Rs 5 through Paytm or Google Pay. Such being a case, how can conductors be blamed? We endure a lot of frustration due to the change issue.” MTC officials said the issue is being looked into.

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