In order to increase the quality of public transport, the Tamil Nadu government is considering a tie-up with private bus operators using Gross Cost Contract (GCC) system, officials said.
Under this system, when operating electric buses, a private company would provide the necessary buses and operate them in the State government’s name while quoting the cost per kilometre to ensure a profit.
“Consultations would be held with the Finance and related departments shortly to iron out vexatious issues,” sources added.
The State government’s initial plan to purchase the costly Volvo buses has been put on hold following the difficulties faced by Karnataka to maintain them despite operating them on the ‘much in demand’ Chennai – Bengaluru route, officials said.
“As a Volvo bus costs Rs 1.20 crore compared to an ordinary bus which costs Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh and an AC bus up to Rs 47 lakh, the government is mulling over increasing facilities in existing buses to attract more passengers,” sources revealed.
Lack of cooperation from transport corporation staff, which had been a bugbear for the government due to various issues including pending pension benefits for retired staff, is also likely to be sorted out soon, they added.
Once the issues are sorted out, things would change, including increase in patronage.
Meanwhile, an effective strategy has been chalked out regarding marketing, timing and poaching of government bus timings by private carriers to ensure that government buses benefited, officials added.
According to officials, complaints from the public regarding the bus timings and wrong attitude of the crew could be sent to top Transport Corporation officials with accompanying pictures for action.
Most of the complaints were about the long duration of travelling times in TNSTC and SETC buses, despite the latter being an express service charging higher fares.