After the State government allowed the inter-district bus service from September 7, SETC started operation with about 524 buses out of the fleet strength of 1,082.
Buses are available to Chennai, Tiruchy, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Salem, Erode, Krishnagiri and Thanjavur. Due to the fear of corona, the number of passengers was low initially and the buses were operated less. However, the number of passengers has been steadily increasing over the past two weeks, said a senior official of SETC. “We are planning to operate an additional 200 buses on various routes on behalf of the SETC,” the official added.
The official said that out of the 43 seats, only 26 will be allowed to be occupied. “We are strictly following the government guidelines on maintaining social distancing, disinfecting the buses, and wearing masks,” the official said.
In some routes, the passengers’ demand has gone up and the bus crew were getting into arguments with those who could not board the bus due to less availability of seats, a conductor said.
Meanwhile, Omni Bus Owners’ Association has put off the meeting, called to decide on whether to resume bus service from October 1 or not, to September 30. The private bus owners have been demanding the state government to waive road tax and social distancing norms to resume services. Besides, they demand operation of the AC buses as well.