Sudden change in Chennai bus routes puts off passengers

CHENNAI: In a bid to attract more number of passengers, the Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (MTC) has converted numerous short-route buses to long distance depending on patronage. Areas in south Chennai, particularly witnessed the change.

But, the move has irked a few passengers travelling to shorter routes as the frequency of those buses has declined marginally.

Areas along the IT corridor, including Siruseri, Thoraipakkam and Sholinganallur witnessed the sudden change. Tambaram, Kanathur, Poonamallee, T Nagar and Perambur are among other areas having buses plying with changed number boards.

For instance, 70S bus operating between Koyambedu and Kannagi Nagar has been re-numbered. Due to this, numerous workers of CMBT living in the areas near Kannagi Nagar are forced to change two buses to reach the destination.

“MTC authorities should have at least informed us about the change. Initially, we would wait for long hours waiting for the bus, which has been re-numbered,” rued M. Pachayamma, a regular commuter.

Similarly, Saidapet to Kelambakkam 19B, T Nagar to Thuraipakkam 19C, Tambaram to Siruseri 51K, Perambur to Minjur 64P, Koyambedu to Ottiyambakkam 51L have been extended and re-numbered, but no alternative arrangement has been made for short route-buses.

When contacted, an official from MTC said the diverted buses have very low patronage and arrangement would be made in the coming months to increase the frequency of these buses.

At the same time, more buses would ply from areas having no alternative transport options.

This move is directed towards increasing the funds of cash-starved MTC that further witnessed a sharp fall in patronage after fare hike.

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