Buses back on roads, but occupancy low
On the first day of ‘Unlock 1.0’, most of the buses ran with a minimum number of passengers across the state where curbs were eased for public transport.
In Coimbatore, Ooty, Erode and Tiruppur districts public transport services resumed after a gap of 68 days on Monday, but the occupancy rate was thin.
Of the total 1,019 buses, 375 were operated in Coimbatore, 299 in Erode, 197 in Tiruppur and 148 in Ooty. Though only 50 per cent of the fleet was operated, poor passenger patronage forced transport corporations to trim the services in the later part of the day. Of the 299 buses operated in Erode, almost 50 per cent of the fleet was stopped from afternoon due to low occupancy, said a transport official.
1379 buses, in central districts
As many as 1379 TNSTC buses were operated in the central districts. Commuters complained that the formalities stretched their journey for one more hour. The crew and passengers were screened prior to boarding the buses. In Tiruchy, Thanjavur and Pudukkottai, drivers gave a ‘deeparadhana’ to the buses and broke coconuts before taking the seat, while passengers were strictly asked to wear masks and were provided with hand sanitisers.
Moderate crowd in Madurai region
Collector TG Vinay said a total of 450 TNSTC services were operated on Monday from Madurai to various destinations under the Madurai zone comprising districts of Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram.
As per protocol, all buses were disinfected before beginning their trips. Also, passengers wearing masks were allowed to board the buses and the crew permitted only 60 per cent of occupancy stipulated by the state government.
When asked about the occupancy, Collector Vinay said it was moderate.
In Tirunelveli zone, a total of 439 buses ran to various destinations in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari districts from 5 am, to 9 pm.
Services on 25 routes in Vellore zone
TNSTC Vellore region operated 166 buses across 25 routes in the zone comprising Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts on Monday, officials said. Body temperature of both the crew and passengers was checked with thermal scans at the bus stands before the journey.