Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday ordered purchase of 3,000 new buses to further strengthen the transport network in the State. She also ordered the purchase of around 44,000 handheld ticket vending machines for use on the government’s bus fleet.
The acquisition of 3,000 buses is expected to cost the exchequer `548 crore. For this purpose, `150 crore would be infused as equity into the state-run transport corporation and another `150 crore would be made available in the form of loans. The 3,000 buses are expected to bolster the existing fleet of 21,989 buses which ferry around 1.82 crore passengers in various parts of the State.
Jayalalithaa also ordered the replacement of buses whose engines or suspensions were in bad shape. A statement from the government stressed on e-governance and computerisation as key to delivering good quality services to the people. To this end, Jayalalithaa ordered the use of hand-held devices with GPS and could issue computerised tickets. The data from these devices would be uploaded to a centralised server through the internet on a real-time basis, which would allow officials to track ticketing, route and scheduling trends, the release said.
Necessary infrastructure for this would be set up at 205 depots, 20 divisions and the headquarters of eight transport corporations.