Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) commuters can soon carry rechargeable passes instead of buying tickets every time they travel. This was announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a suo moto announcement in the Assembly on Friday.

Transport department officials said the facility will be extended over time to other transport corporations too. Under this system, passengers must buy pre-paid cards and the fare will be deducted during travel.

MTC officials noted that passengers could recharge the cards from devices available with the conductor. Welcoming the move, T. Ravikumar, president, All India Rail and Bus Passengers Association, said it would help passengers avoid arguments with crew over change. “This will also ensure greater punctuality as buses need not wait while tickets are being issued,” he said.

More services for women, children

The Chief Minister also announced an increase in the number of services meant for women and children from 134 to 200.

This is expected to accommodate the increasing number of school children and industrial workers.

Seven more new depots will come up in Adambakkam, Chromepet, Perambur, Kundrathur, Perumbakkam, Thaiyur and Gummidipoondi. This will also help buses save on fuel as they will not have to travel long distances to reach depots. 18 new depots will be set up in other parts of the State. The government allocated Rs. 22.50 lakh for the same.

She also announced that the monthly season ticket facility will be extended to mofussil buses too.

At present, the facility is available for the over 3,000 MTC buses and nearly 2,500 town buses operated by the six State Transport Corporations across the State.

Now, the season ticket facility would be extended to all the mofussil buses operated by the State Transport Corporations.

Passengers booking 10 or more tickets online will get a 10 per cent discount, the Chief Minister said.

However, this facility will not be available during Pongal, Deepavali and other holiday seasons.

At present, the online booking system is available for those travelling 300 km and beyond by State-owned Transport Corporation buses.

Mini buses

Mini buses will also be operated in hilly regions. This is in the light of difficulties involved in operating traditional services in these regions as buses sometimes get caught in accidents, especially in hairpin bends.

Currently, 530 services are operated to various hilly regions in the State.

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