It will also install automatic doors in all its vehicles and have squads monitor footboard travel by students

In the wake of accidents resulting from footboard travel, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) Limited is planning to expand its fleet for peak hours

“The MTC is planning to increase the number of buses during the morning and evening peak hours. This would solve congestion in buses as there will be better frequency,” said an official.

Last week four students came in between a speeding lorry and a bus while standing on the footboard. On Sunday, one person fell off the flyover on R.K. Salai after slipping from the footboard of an MTC bus. He died in the hospital on Monday.

The transport corporation is also planning to install automatic doors in all its vehicles and have squads monitor footboard travel by students. They are expected to conduct surprise checks.

“Earlier there were route officers who used to monitor the crowd in the buses and check if the buses followed the proper routes. But now it does not happen,” said Ramguru, a commuter who uses bus route 47 between Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur.

As per RTO rules, a bus can accommodate a maximum of 73 passengers (48 sitting and 25 standing). But during peak hours, a typical bus carries over 150 passengers, with many travelling on the footboard.

“When we ask college students to get inside they get into an argument and attack us,” said an MTC conductor.

The traffic police will also keep a tab on footboard travel. “We will collect the names of students and inform the school administration. We will be holding meetings with school authorities and parents on a regular basis,” said a police source.

The MTC will also be conducting meetings with police officers and the Chennai Corporation to ensure removal of obstructions at bus stops.

“As of now dustbins and share autorickshaws are found in the bus stands. Buses do not stop at the designated place,” said a police officer.

The help of the police would be sought in removing share autorickshaws and the civic body would ensure that dustbins are removed from the bus stops, he said. “Only a coordinated effort can help solve problems related to the MTC,” the officer added.

Meanwhile, commuters are of the opinion that the MTC should introduce more buses and re-organise bus-timings to avoid crowding.

“On some routes the frequency of the buses is very poor. Commuters have to wait for an hour for the next bus. Hence they get into crowded buses, too,” said K. Ameer, a resident of Perungudi.

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