According to officials, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) had approached MTC to operate 100 buses, following which, the Transport Corporation agreed to ply 50 small buses to functional Metro stations. Additionally, there were demands from commuters of Metro rail, who reside in interior areas and suburban areas, to increase the feeder service.
Meanwhile, MTC officials say that although small buses are being operated in five routes since August, the patronage has been very poor. “Although the state Transport department is facing a severe loss of revenue, increasing the ticket rates will not be fair. The poor patronage from the small buses that connect Metro stations should be compensated by the government or some other agencies,” said Daniel Robinson, programme manager, Chennai City Connect.
He added that compared to other states, the bus fare is considerably low in Tamil Nadu.
When contacted by DT Next, V Krishnamurthy, Managing Director of MTC, said, “We along with some agencies are in the process of preparing a blueprint to operate feeder services to the Metro stations. More number of buses will be operated soon.” When asked about patronage, the MD maintained that though they observed low patronage in the current feeder service, they would explore all the possibile ways to increase the revenue. “Many commuters are unaware of such feeder services and we will create awareness, once such system becomes full-fledged,” he added.