The new small bus routes introduced some months ago have brought cheer to suburban commuters, who have thus far been dependent on autorickshaws to reach their destinations.

In the southern suburbs, some of the bus routes introduced in the second phase include: S6 (Tambaram East-Vengambakkam), S8 (Hasthinapuram-Tambaram West) and S7 (Pallavaram-Pammal VOC Nagar). President of Chitlapakkam Muthulakshmi Nagar Welfare Association, L. Sundararaman said, “We are happy that one more small bus is available to go to Tambaram via Sanatorium, covering many parts of Chitlapakkam and I hope in future, the MTC will ply more small buses from Chitlapakkam tank.”

However, S. Ramesh of East Tambaram is not convinced that these buses minimise the use of autos as proposed. “They should introduce bus services connecting East Tambaram with Chitlapakkam, Hasthinapuram, and Chromepet and these services should be operated beneath the flyover near Tambaram Sanatorium railway station,” he said.

S. Muthulakshmi of Nagalkeni said the erstwhile Pallavan Transport Corporation was operating buses from Pallavaram to Chromepet via Pammal and Nagalkeni. Some time ago, MTC introduced a bus service connecting VOC Nagar with Pallavaram. If it is extended or a new service is introduced upto Thiruneermalai, thousands of commuters like me would benefit,” she said.

Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) officials are happy about the success of the small buses. “On an average, we earn Rs. 5,000 on one route. Patronage is good on many routes and it is helping passengers from interior areas reach the nearest bus stops and railway stations,” said a senior MTC official.