In an effort to increase patronage, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has directed all deport managers to ensure operation of the stipulated number of ordinary buses with prominently displaying a sticker highlighting the minimum fare — Rs 5.
An official said that MTC was operating maximum number of buses as ordinary services as per the State government directive. “We are operating 1,440 buses for ordinary services while only 800 buses as express services,” the official said.
MTC operates 3,688 buses in 833 routes in the city and its suburbs. On an average, 48 lakh commuters travel every day. It also operates buses in ordinary, express and deluxe fare categories. The minimum ticket fare for ordinary buses is Rs 5 and express services charge 1.5 times the ordinary fare and deluxe buses its two times.
A bus conductor at Anna Nagar West terminus said that if the minimum fare is displayed permanently on the bus, unnecessary arguments with irate passengers can be avoided. “Commuters pick up arguments over the fare with the crew after boarding an express or deluxe bus assuming it to be an ordinary. On the routes where share autos ply, passengers prefer them instead of taking express or deluxe buses,” the conductor said, adding that such arguments most happen in the evening time when it would be difficult to differentiate the colour of the bus boards.
P Balakrishnan, president, Government Transport Employees Union said that the number of ordinary bus services on certain routes has been increased. “It is a good move to woo back the commuters lost to share autos over the past few years. This will benefit the commuters as well,” he said.