To ply 20 new routes covering southern and western areas

In a bid to improve road connectivity, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday rolled out fifty more small buses in the city and suburbs.

Procured at a cost of Rs. 7.60 crore, the buses will ply 20 routes. While the first set of small buses rolled out in October last year focussed mostly on southern suburbs, this time the services cater mainly for southern and western suburbs, including some parts of the city. There are a few buses for north Chennai.

Some of the routes within the city are Thiruvanmiyur railway station to Madhya Kailash, Vadapalani to Loyola College, Ashok Pillar to Valsaravakkam and Adyar signal to Mandaveli. The number of buses allotted to each of the new route ranges from one to three.

Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) officials are happy about the success of the 50 small buses rolled out last year. “On an average, we earn Rs. 5,000 on one route. Patronage is good on some routes and poor in others. However, it is helping passengers from interior areas to reach the nearest bus stops and railway stations. The services are eating into the revenue of share autorickshaws,” said a senior MTC official.

New buses

Besides small buses, the Chief Minister also rolled out 109 buses repaired at a cost of Rs. 8.2 crore. A total of 185 new buses at a cost of Rs. 35.56 crore were also flagged off by her.

Out of this, eight buses are for the MTC, 51 for Villupuram Transport Corporation, 16 for Salem Transport Corporation, 17 for Coimbatore, 51 for Kumbakonam, 33 for Madurai and nine for Tirunelveli.

New Depots

The Chief Minister also inaugurated seven new bus depots at a cost of Rs. 5.57 crore on Wednesday. This includes two in Chennai — Besant Nagar and Adambakkam.

The Besant Nagar depot was set up at a cost of Rs. 69 lakh and the one in Adambakkam, Rs. 86 lakh. “This will ensure that the buses are maintained in a better manner,” said a senior MTC official.

Besides in Villupuram two depots have been inaugurated in Neyveli and Orikkai at a cost of Rs. 58 lakh and Rs. 94 lakh respectively.

The Kumbakonam Transport Corporation has also got two bus depots – at Alankudi and Aravukurichi at a cost of Rs. 85 lakh and Rs.99 lakh respectively. A new depot has been set up at a cost of Rs. 66 lakh in Sivagangai under the Madurai Transport Corporation.

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