More specifically, the journey via bus. Following the introduction of 48 new air-conditioned busses for Chennai by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation on Friday, the Facebook group TNSTC Enthusiasts uploaded a YouTube video reviewing the bus on the same day, which currently has nearly 22,000 views.
Started in August 2017 by Santhapriyan Kamaraj, the Facebook group was a place for bus enthusiasts from across Tamil Nadu to share their experiences and opinions on the various government-run bus services.
“We avoid speaking about private buses because they have more promotion. We want people to know that government buses can be just as good,” said Kamaraj. With nearly 25,000 members, the videos are helmed by a four-man team consisting of Kamaraj, Paul, Sabarish and Vijay Narayanan. The bus enthusiasts, who met through another Facebook group, have reviewed nearly 100 buses so far.
“I take care of the admin work on the group, and the other two handle the video editing. We are all based out of different areas, so we have covered nearly every route and every service thus far. We even go as far as to take off from our day jobs to pursue this passion,” said Kamaraj.
With the assistance of officials and crew, as well as other members, the team reviews unique services provided by buses and the newest entries onto the road on four criteria — affordability, connectivity, frequency and crew.
“Youngsters these days have a poor opinion of government-run bus services. But that’s not the case. Over the last few years, the buses have become more modern and have better coverage. Since youngsters don’t follow the news, and prefer to consume news on their social media, we decided to start a Facebook page and begin making videos. Once they learn, they can tell their families, and this way more people will appreciate and use bus services,” said Kamaraj.
For Kamaraj, the best part about bus travelling is the conversations and the memories they make along the way. “I’ve travelled all over India on buses. From my experience, I don’t think any other state has the connectivity as Tamil Nadu does. From big metros to the smallest villages, there is always a bus route,” said the 26-year-old.