Residents welcome mini bus service; seek prominent display of routes and timings
A day after the mini buses hit the streets of the city and its suburbs, residents are largely happy with the new service, while some concerns have been raised. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on Wednesday, launched 50 buses in 20 routes.
While commuters who come within the operational area of the routes are happy that the ‘small buses’ ply through lanes neglected by the regular buses, some residents felt that the display of routes and timings could be more prominent.
Residents of the southern and western suburbs said the services should be extended to their areas as well.
The light green buses look neat from inside, with 27 seats. Separate seats have been allocated for women, the elderly and disabled. The height of the seats is less compared to that of the regular buses.
“The vehicle is comfortable and the buses stop wherever we hail them or want to get down,” said A. Govindarajalu, who was heading to Kumananchavadi from Perambur bus depot in bus route S61 which plies between Madhavaram and Retteri Junction.
K. Meena, who was travelling in S2 bus at Chromepet, felt that these services were long overdue. “Until now, regular bus services plied only till Hasthinapuram. Many like me would get down at Hasthinapuram and either take an autorickshaw or walk,” said the homemaker who lives in Tirumalai Nagar.
The drivers and conductors of the buses said that they have been getting a good response from commuters, especially during peak hours.
“We have been asked to drive the bus through the streets like an autorickshaw and stop whenever the commuter asks us to,” said A. Singaravadivelu, a driver on bus route S61.
Though the timings have not been fixed, there will be buses at least once every half an hour, said sources. “We did not know the route through which the bus travelled and the timing. They could have taken a few more days and launched the buses with boards, displaying the routes,” said Joshua, a college student at Perambur who boarded the mini bus.
Many residents complained that their localities had been left out. Residents of Chitlapakkam claimed that none of the new services connected their locality with Tambaram Sanatorium railway station. Similar is the situation in Nanganallur.
These residents have been making representations to the government, especially the Transport Department.
“We seek the restoration of the original services that connected the heart of our town with Tambaram Sanatorium and subsequently East Tambaram and Medavakkam,” said K.Narasimhan of Tirumagal Nagar, Chitlapakkam.