MTC studying feasibility of introducing double-decker AC buses
The Institute of Road Transport, the central purchasing unit of the state transport undertakings, is collecting details on the double-decker buses
CHENNAI: Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is studying the feasibility of re-introducing double-decker buses, like the new air-conditioned double-decker buses operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), in the city routes.
"We are studying the feasibility of operating the double-decker buses. The operation feasibility depends on various factors which have to be studied," sources in the transport department said.
Though the BEST introduced the country's first double-decker AC electric buses in January this year, MTC is considering the AC double-decker buses but has not yet decided on whether it would be electric or diesel buses, sources said.
The Institute of Road Transport, the central purchasing unit of the state transport undertakings, is collecting details on the double-decker buses. The double-decker buses cannot be operated on all the routes as the road space and vertical clearance without low bridges, cables and other structures should not hinder the bus movement considering its height, sources said.
Sources said that if at all the MTC decides to reintroduce the double-decker buses, it would be most likely operated from High Court along Anna Salai to Tambaram.
Chennai has a long history of double-decker bus operations since 1975. After the double-decker services were phased out in the 1980s, it was again re-introduced in the city in 1997 and the buses were operated on 18 A routes from High Court to Tambaram till 2008.
An MTC official recalled that the double-decker bus services were stopped owing to the difficulty in manoeuvring the buses in the city traffic.
The official also pointed out that another factor leading to the phasing out of the double-decker buses was the fall in patronage after a couple of years of introduction.
"Main reason for the fall in patronage was the discomfort faced by passengers while boarding and alighting from the buses. Senior citizens found it difficult to access the bus," the official said.