Commuters said the maintenance of AC buses needs to be improved. In many buses, the AC ducts are not clean. Hence, the cooling effect is minimal.

With the summer heat intensifying, bus commuters in the city are desperate for the Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (MTC) airconditioned buses.

However, most of these buses are being operated on long-distance routes, for better revenue. MTC has a total of 100 AC buses. On an average, each bus earns about Rs. 16,000 every day. However, services on many routes within the city have been stopped since the MTC felt it was not generating enough revenue.

MTC, on its website, has mentioned that it operates AC services on bus routes such as A1 (Thiruvanmiyur–Chennai Central), 29C (Perambur–Besant Nagar) and 12B (Foreshore Estate–Vadapalani).

However, these buses are being operated just once a day or have been completely stopped, in some cases. “Most of the buses have been shifted to long-distance routes including 21H (Broadway–Kelambakkam), 21G (Broadway–Tambaram) and 576 (T. Nagar–Kancheepuram). This way, the number of services on routes that fetch more revenue has been increased,” said an MTC source.

However, commuters feel the services should be uniform across the city, at least during summer. “MTC should increase services between Chennai Central and Thiruvanmiyur. During the holidays, there will be more passengers and good revenue can be generated,” said S. Thiyagarajan, a resident of Mandaveli.

Passengers also want services from Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus in Koyambedu to be increased.

“A lot of people who travel to the city from other districts, for the holidays, will benefit. MTC should ply as many AC buses as possible during summer. They can bring down the numbers once the heat subsides,” said M. Sumathi, a native of Madurai, who is visiting her son in Vadapalani.

Maintenance of buses

Commuters said the maintenance of AC buses needs to be improved. In many buses, the AC ducts are not clean. Hence, the cooling effect is minimal. “Passengers inform the MTC complaint cell when the AC does not work properly. But, no action is taken,” said a bus conductor.

Since the AC buses have a low chassis, the floor of the vehicles gets damaged easily. In some buses, the holes are covered with planks, complained passengers.

J. Lenin, a commuter on 21H route, said the police should permit sun-control films on windows of AC buses to beat the heat.