Orders placed for designing chassis: Minister
The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has completed a preliminary study on the introduction of mini-buses in the city. Speaking to The Hindu, Transport Minister K.N. Nehru said that orders have been placed for designing the chassis of 100 such vehicles.
Of the 300 mini-buses that are expected to be procured by the State government for various districts, 100 would operate in and around Chennai, the Minister added.
According to the study, mini-buses will ply mainly in suburban areas such as Red Hills, Tiruvottiyur, Kelambakkam and Tambaram. Localities that are within four or five km from a major terminus will get preference, a senior MTC official said.
“All mini-buses will not ply on new routes. Since occupancy on certain routes on the outskirts is nowhere near the capacity, mini-buses will replace the normal wheelbase buses plying on those routes,” the official added.
The replaced buses will be used to provide additional regular services on overcrowded routes in the city.
A multi-route operational strategy will be adopted in order to cater for more than one locality. Each bus will have two or more routes on which it will constantly ply.
While announcing the introduction of mini-buses within three months in the Assembly on April 29, Mr.Nehru said “If there are 100 families in an area, we will operate a bus. Anna University will be commissioned to do a study to determine the routes.”
While the mini-bus study was not commissioned, MTC undertook a preliminary study. According to Mr. Nehru, the study will now be reviewed by Anna University.
Presently, 4,000 private mini-buses operate in several districts in Tamil Nadu. Private companies cannot operate mini-buses in Chennai because MTC alone has the area permit to operate the services.