Sixty-year-old S. Ramadurai of Choolaimedu has to walk at least two kilometers to board a bus or a train. People like him have a reason to smile as soon, tenders will be called for the mini-bus services in the city.
The 100 buses will be on a trial basis and more will be rolled out based on the demand and the success of the service. “We are sure it will be a success not only in the suburbs, but also in the city. There are many areas which are far from the bus stops and railway stations,” said a Metropolitan Transport Corporation Limited (MTC) official. “Unlike the tendering process for big buses where usually, two big companies participate, we expect more firms would come forward for the mini-bus tenders. The work will take place rapidly after this,” said the official.
The MTC has completed a preliminary study to identify routes where mini-bus service can be introduced on a trial basis.
“There are many parts of the city like Choolaimedu, Velachery and Aynavaram where the services are needed. The buses will go to interior roads too. This will help the residents save money they spend on autorickshaws. We have not yet decided the fares,” he said.
In May this year, State Minister for Transport Senthil Balaji announced in the assembly that 100 mini-buses would be rolled out soon. The facility is meant to integrate various modes of transport and also help people living in interior areas reach bus stops and railway stations easily.
Commuters in places such as Thiruninravur have requested for mini-bus service for their locality. There are over 6,000 residents in localities like Anna Indira Nagar, Saraswathy Nagar, Gomathipuram, Babuji Nagar, Vadivel Nagar, Prakash Nagar, Village Colony in Thiruninravur.
Senior MTC officials said that the request can be considered. “We are waiting to see if more such requests are coming from commuters or MLAs,” said an official. Last year, Anna University conducted a study to identity routes where there was a dire need for mini-bus services. Routes were decided based on the population density and on areas where roads were not suitable to run big buses.