Passengers can lodge complaints on anything from poor frequency to unclean buses

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (MTC) complaint cell has received over 100 complaints ever since it was upgraded from a 12-hour facility to a 24-hour service.

The numbers — 044-23455858, 9445030516 and 9383337639 — have been functioning as MTC’s helpline for the past couple of years. Earlier, passengers could lodge complaints between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Over 20 complaints were received per day by the staff at the helpline.

“From January 20, we converted it into a 24-hour facility because people also avail of night services. Most of the complaints pouring in are about buses not halting at the stop, conductors not giving proper change and poor frequency of services,” said a senior MTC official.

In their complaints, passengers have to provide the registration number of the bus and the direction of travel. “The staff members at the grievance cell have been asked to provide a docket number once the complaint is registered. Complaints will be attended to on the same day and the same will be communicated to the complainants,” the official said.

“Passengers can call the helpline for anything pertaining to MTC. They can also lodge a complaint if the buses are not clean. There have been complaints about conductors behaving rudely. Disciplinary action will be taken if the complaints are found to be genuine,” the official said.

There are also plans to introduce an SMS-complaint mechanism.

Some passengers, however, are sceptical of the helpline’s effectiveness and prefer MTC carries out regular maintenance. “Bunching of buses is a common sight in Chennai. Earlier, MTC officials would be present at bus stops and conduct surprise checks,” said M. Dhananjayan, a senior citizen from Avadi who uses MTC buses regularly.

He said MTC officials should check the buses regularly. “Senior MTC officials should visit depots and travel in buses to understand how well they are maintained. Most buses now are rickety,” he said.

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