Since its inception, the system has garnered several complaints from various quarters. Narrating the issue, a bus conductor, Subramanian attached to the Koyambedu depot, said, “The ETMs are not working properly. It takes long hours to print a ticket during peak hours. It is not easy to handle too. Irrespective of buses, the conductors have started to give manual tickets to the passengers. We have complained to the management several times. But they are yet to take any action.”
Irrespective of the bus type – deluxe or semi deluxe – the conductors are migrating to issuing normal tickets. The MTC re-introduced ETMs in all the buses as part of the modernisation process in 2017. The new machines were GPS-enabled devices that will also help the corporation track the fleet movement. The device also has a dashboard for real-time monitoring and a passenger information system.
The treasurer of Labour Progressive Federation, K Natarajan, said, “Several representations were registered with the management pertaining to the ETMs. They are yet to take any action. Due to the faulty machines, the corporation is incurring losses on a daily basis. The system, sometimes, generates a blank paper instead of a ticket. But shows that money is deducted for the blank ticket. We have no other go but to print another ticket at no cost. These incidents had occurred several times.”
Other problems that the MTC bus conductors and drivers face is the shortage of paper roll, and damaged dashboard. A higher official said that discussions are being held with the private contract parties over the maintenance of these machines. “The issue will be resolved in the near future”, he added. The corporation has admitted that the purchase of new ETMs is in the process.
The MTC had the proposal of enhancing the system with a provision to swipe credit or debit card on the go.