As part of the government’s efforts to connect the hinterland with expanding urban areas, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa launched 675 new buses and 286 new routes on Thursday.

At a function in the city, the Chief Minister flagged off 28 new buses and introduced 28 new routes for MTC; three new buses and two new routes for State Express Transport Corporation (SETC); 169 new buses and 70 routes in Villupuram division; 137 new buses and 45 routes in Salem division; 174 new buses and 55 routes in Coimbatore division; 69 new buses and the same number of routes in Kumbakonam division.

For the Madurai division, 10 new buses and 10 new routes and for the Tirunelveli transport corporation 85 new buses and seven new routes were launched. In this year’s budget, it was announced that the number of buses operated by State Transport Corporations would be increased to 20,000.

With the launch of 675 new buses, the number has reached 20,500 buses, said an official release.

In her third term as Chief Minister, the number of routes plied by the government buses has gone up to 1,353 routes, it added.

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