Passengers feel TNSTC should regulate these services
Summer vacation is the peak tourist season in the State with people visiting the tourist spots and summer resorts taking advantage of the holidays for educational institutions. Reflecting this mood are the overcrowded railway stations and bus stations in all major cities and towns.
Railways rise to the occasion by operating special trains, especially on weekends, and 95 per cent of the accommodation in these trains is booked the day the reservation opens.
On its part, the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) operates a large number of special buses every day to various destinations from Tiruchi. Additional services are introduced on weekends, which are well patronised.
The reservation facility, particularly online reservation, in both the trains and the SETC buses ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey. But not all people plan their journey in advance. On many occasions, families plan their trips at a short notice. A train journey is impossible and getting the SETC and omni buses is ruled out.
For such groups, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) which come to their rescue. The TNSTC has been operating hundreds of special buses from all major cities and towns to meet the summer demand. The highlight of the TNSTC summer specials is that these buses have no advance reservation facility, due to which the people can go and get into the buses straightaway.
Being an important junction, a large number of buses and tourist vehicles pass through Tiruchi. The crowd in the central bus stand in the city, particularly in the evening and at night, these days is to be seen to be believed. A stead stream of TNSTC buses entering and leaving the bus stand caters to these passengers in transit from 7 p.m. onwards to destinations such as Chennai.
“But for these buses, the travelling public will be put to lot of hardship”, says Sundaramoorthy, a businessman of the city, who has just returned after visiting Chennai and Mahabalipuram with his family. The TNSTC has also started AC services.
The fare is nominal at Rs. 300 to Rs. 350 from Tiruchi to Chennai.
While the SETC issues tokens to unreserved passengers for the seats available in its buses, by forming a queue, no such system is followed in TNSTC. The TNSTC too should introduce queue system which will immensely benefit the commuters, says M. Baranidharan, a college student.