Rickety, leaky MTC buses draw the ire of suburban commuters
Infrequent services and an ageing fleet add to travel time of commuters
CHENNAI: A way from the hustle and bustle of a metropolis like Chennai, one would imagine life to be simpler, in the suburbs. To an extent, yes. But, when one tries to hop on a bus, to travel to the city, things change drastically. Bad conditions, late arrival of buses and cancellation of services are some of the main complaints of the commuters from the southern and western suburbs of the city.
A two-day road trip by TNIE to Avadi, Ambattur, and Tambaram revealed that the waiting time for some buses is more than 60 minutes to major destinations in the city from the suburbs. Selvam from Ambattur OT laments the infrequent services to places like Egmore from the bus stand. “Services to Egmore and routes corresponding to it are few and far between. I have been waiting at the bus depot for over half an hour and not even a single bus has arrived. In Tambaram, bus No. 104 is regular but since it comes from Redhills, the buses are always crowded,” he said.
Sakunthala, a daily wage labourer, who travels from Avadi to Bangarupettai daily for her job said, “77 and 70A number buses which run between Avadi and Koyambedu and 71E that plies between Thiruninravur and Broadway are frequent, but others like 70 and 120 and 120F are not regular. Also, 61K which runs between Avadi-New Kanniamman Nagar is crowded all the time, and there is an urgent need to run more services on these routes.”
The interiors of the buses are not maintained properly, and when it rains, be prepared to get soaked.
Leaky roofs need fixing before the monsoon arrives in all its glory,” said Balaji K from Tambaram, who is a regular commuter on MTC buses. “Services towards Kishkinta, like 18H 55B, are not frequent and college students are the worst affected. I spend Rs 20 on an auto, from Tambaram to Periyar Nagar, which I can easily save if the buses are regular,” added Balaji. M Harish, another exasperated commuter said, “I live in Pallikaranai and the buses are always full and it would be helpful if more services are operated from the area.”