“The Corporation is planning to operate new buses under the air-conditioned semi-sleeper category to destinations within 250 kilometres from Chennai city. It is expected to be on the roads in near future,” said Ponmudi Ramaswamy, General Manager (Operation).
These short-distance routes would include Villupuram, Vellore, Puducherry, Cuddalore, Perambalur and Ariyalur, said the official. New vehicles of this model are currently under construction.
It was part of the new scheme announced during the 2018-19 financial budget. Also, as per the announcement, the State government is poised to infuse a capital of Rs 600 crore into the State Transport Undertakings (STUs) for inducting 3,000 new buses.
Once these new vehicles are pressed into service, 4,593 old buses that are aged more than a decade, would be replaced completely. Officials said 50 per cent of these buses would be high-end vehicles, while the rest would be in the ordinary bus category, with air suspension and pushback seats. According to an official, 515 new buses would be allocated to the State Express Transport Undertakings (SETC).
Meanwhile, the State Transport Corporation earned Rs 40.19 lakh by way of sale of 8,587 tickets on Friday.
Till Saturday evening, around 1.32 lakh seats were booked, netting an income of Rs 624.19 lakh overall. Officials estimate that the corporation would have carried 79,920 passengers till November 5, the eve of Deepavali festival.
Among them, 49,150 passengers will travel from Chennai and the rest 30,770 passengers will take trips from the other sectors.