Reaching Taramani and Velachery stations is made easy by mini buses. Residents want such feeder services to be extended to other areas that have rail connectivity. LIFFY THOMAS reports
Y. Hymavathi’s morning commute has become hassle-free ever since mini buses started plying through the inland areas of Perungudi. “I save at least 30 minutes by not taking the OMR stretch to reach Thiruvanmiyur MRTS station,” says the resident of Elim Nagar. The employee of Secretariat takes S14 (Mettukuppam to SRP Tools) that stops near Taramani station.
Introduced to increase connectivity to the interior parts of the city, mini buses are especially expected to enhance access to MRTS stations.
Mini buses stop near the MRTS stations at Taramani and Velachery . Taramani MRTS especially had no feeder services until now. The patronage of the station had suffered as the stretch leading to the station was poorly lit and in a bad condition. Nearly 60 autorickshaws have been permitted to park inside the station premises. But, for more than six months, the station does not have an authorised parking attendant.
According to a booking staff, the station makes a daily collection of Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 70,000 (inclusive of bookings on suburban trains). If the mini bus stops at the main entrance of the station, more commuters will be drawn to using the MRTS from Velachery. “We sent a letter a month ago to the Southern Railway to allow parking on the rear side of the station,” says a ticket booking staff. “Next, we want mini buses to stop inside the station premises.”
At present, route S13 (Guindy to Velachery) passes through the station road, benefits numerous commuters who take the MRTS at Velachery.
K. Anandalakshmi, who lives 3 km from the Velachery station, used to spend Rs. 140 commuting every day. “Now, I spend Rs. 50. The mini bus stops at the Balaji Nagar bus stop and I do not have to spend on autorickshaws to get to the station,” says Anandalakshmi, who works at a company in Taramani.
Many commuters want mini buses to be operated in areas such as Pallikaranai, Madipakkam, and Medavakkam that lie between stations. “S11 (Guindy Asargana to Kilkattalai) should be extended to Velachery MRTS and S12 (Guindy Asargana to NGO Colony) should be operated through Thillai Ganga Nagar subway in such a way that it touches stations coming under the next phase of the MRTS,” says V. Subramani of the Traffic and Transportation Forum, a suburban residents collective.