Buses, trains run full as parents join kids for holidays in Tamil Nadu
String of public holidays aligning with school vacation pulls TN crowd out to tour state
CHENNAI: With a string of public holidays aligning with schoolchildren’s vacation after several months, buses and trains between cities, to tourist spots and pilgrimage sites both in the state and outside have been running at full capacity over the past few days. The trend will prevail for the next few days as well, say travel operators and officials.
According to sources, bus and train tickets to Chennai from Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coimbatore and Madurai bought at normal fare are sold out for the next few days. Sleeper class- and Third AC class tickets on trains like Kanniyakumari and Pandian Express are also sold out in both directions.
As for State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) buses, tickets in 90% of the services are fully booked for the next few days. “In a few sections, additional special buses were operated,” an official said. All Tirupati-bound buses operated by APSRTC and TNSTC have also been running at maximum capacity since Thursday. “All Saturdays during the Tamil month of purattasi are regarded auspicious for prayers at Venkateswara Swamy temple at Tirupati. For the first time, all the buses operated from Madhavaram ran crowded,” a TNSTC official said.
K Sasikumar, a travel agent in Egmore, said, “After several months, public holidays and school vacations fell at the same time, resulting in ticket demand reaching an all-time high. A return ticket to Chennai from Kodaikanal on Sunday and Monday night costs anywhere between Rs 3000 and Rs 3500.”
According to private ticketing platforms, a ticket in an AC sleeper omni bus ranges between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4500, while non-AC sleeper tickets are priced at Rs 2,300. Jeya Aravind from Tiruchendur said, “While on our way to Chennai by car on Saturday, it took nearly two hours to find a restaurant and another two hours to consume food. All the restaurants were crowded, and no food was available at a few places.”