Chennai: Broadway bus terminus to be relocated

With GCC set to begin construction of multi-modal hub, Island Ground might become temporary home of terminus
Work on Broadway terminus is likely to take over two years
Work on Broadway terminus is likely to take over two years(Photo | D Sampath Kumar)

CHENNAI: Broadway bus terminus, one of the city’s largest bus termini for Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses, is set to be temporarily relocated to facilitate the construction of a 21-storey multi-modal hub by the Greater Chennai Corporation. The hub will encompass parking facilities for MTC buses, cars, and two-wheelers, as well as commercial complexes and government offices.

The decision to temporarily relocate the terminus was finalised during a high-level coordination meeting on Tuesday in which officials from CMRL, Chennai Corporation, MTC, metro water, traffic police, transport and tourism departments participated.

“Administrative works for temporarily relocating the terminus to Island Grounds will begin shortly. Upon approval from the government, the terminus will be relocated. Matters related to traffic diversion, potential bottlenecks in accessing the Island Grounds, safety issues, installation and maintenance of public toilets, allocating space for shops, and others have been discussed,” an official from MTC said.

The city corporation has set the plan in motion for the construction of an alternative temporary bus depot on Island Grounds for MTC. The temporary bus shelter will be constructed at a cost of `4.95 crore and the city corporation has floated tenders for the work.

Since the work on Broadway terminus is likely to take around two-and-a-half years, the city corporation is looking at an alternative option for accommodating the buses.

“We have been seriously considering Island Grounds as a temporary alternative, but there are some issues that need to be sorted out first. For instance, when trade fair is held there, they might need parking space. So, this (location) has not been finalised as yet,” a senior corporation official said.

The Broadway terminal has been heavily patronised by college students, traders and daily wagers from North Chennai, and the provision of shuttle services to Broadway from Island Grounds was also discussed.

“No final decision has been taken yet,” the official added. Currently, the terminus operates 829 buses every day serving 162 routes, connecting areas such as Tambaram, Guindy, Ennore, Tiruvottiyur, Thiruvanmiyur, Kovalam, Anna Nagar, Poonamallee, and others. On average, the terminus caters to 2.2 lakh commuters every day.

The hub was proposed a decade ago with the objective of decongesting the streets of Broadway, Esplanade, George Town, and other northern parts of the city, which witness traffic congestion due to space constraints. However, due to issues in identifying an alternative site for the relocation of the terminus, the proposal remained a non-starter.

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The New Indian Express