The forum is also holding a cake-cutting ceremony for bus conductors and drivers. The forum hopes to organise several events to mark the 50th year.
Honouring the public transport utility established on January 1, 1972, the online forum called TNSTC Enthusiasts distributed cakes and chocolates to around 100 bus drivers and conductors at the Broadway bus terminus in Chennai. “We wanted to honour the people on the ground and so many of the drivers and conductors did not know that there was such a large fan base for them. We have around 40,000 followers on our Facebook page and so they were happy to know that,” said Santhapriyan Kamaraj, who started the Facebook group in 2017.
The group released a calendar featuring buses from the MTC and TNSTC this year. It features popular photographs taken by members of their groups and each member has their photograph featured to their corresponding birth month.
“On January 23, we presented officials at the Transport Commissionerate and State Transport Authority Nadu with copies of the calendar to show our appreciation for their work. We also presented a miniature of the MTC double-decker bus. The model is at a 1:251 scale to the original. We have so far made seven such miniatures,” said Kamaraj.
The group hosted these events in preparation for the 50th year of MTC, which will be held next year. The group is currently working with the departments concerned to set up a transport museum featuring older models of buses.
“Other states like West Bengal have museums of historical buses but Tamil Nadu does not. The current models all look similar but the older models had a unique style that was representative of the times. We want to open up a museum with the department so that fans and others can enjoy these vehicles,” said Kamaraj.