Official sources said that as 75 per cent of MTC buses were old, they break down often and develop technical snags, forcing the passengers to get down either in the middle of the journey or the nearest depot if they are lucky.
Sources said that even after the fare revision, the MTC remain in financial trouble, as the patronage plummeted. Adding to the problem, the MTC buses, which are being operated at long distances, are often developing snags including brake failures. Of 32 bus depots in the city, at least 10 to 15 buses from every depot are facing such issues regularly and the officials have directed the crew to take the faulty buses to nearby depots.
“When the crew sense technical snags, they call us and complain about issues.
We direct them to take buses to next depot for undertaking repair works. Such issues have become rampant,” a senior depot staff said. If the same situation was to continue, the loss of revenue would go up further, the staff pointed out.
When contacted, a senior manager, MTC, said, “Transport department is well aware of this issue.
The ageing buses will be replaced after new buses are procured.” However, he added, they were also taking action against the bus crew who are suspected of resorting to the practice intentionally, added the official.
Daniel Robinson, programme manager, Chennai City Connect, said, “MTC buses are carrying four to five lakh passengers every day. The officials should identify and replace old buses to attract passengers.”