Chennai

Cooling their heels at the terminus

Photo: R. Ragu   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Recently, commuters at the Mogappair East bus terminus learnt that route number 147A (Mogappair East to T. Nagar) had been reduced from five services to three.

The discovery was not much of surprise. Since resumption of regular bus services in Chennai, patronage of public transport has been understandably low. For, there would be some commuters who would want to avoid using public transport.

MTC is said to have reduced services on certain routes, including the frequently-used 7H (Mogappair East and Boardway), which is down to 7 services from the usual 12. This decision is obviously affecting those commuters who have made a choice to use public transport — they have to wait longer to board their route number. Some of them point out that as they can’t afford to lose time waiting at the terminus, they decide to take an autorickshaw to reach the Thirumangalam junction, a distance of around three kilometres from the terminus. At the junction, they would then board buses to the CMBT terminus where buses to various parts of the city and its outskirts are being operated.

“Prior to the withdrawal of key MTC bus services from the terminus, we would take a ₹10 ticket to reach Thirumangalam. Now, we have to spend around ₹ 300 from Thirumangalam every day,” says K. Meena, a commuter from Mogappair East.

All 7H bus services from the terminus are operated as deluxe services, making it costlier than the ordinary (white board) bus services.

The bus services at Mogappair West, which is around one km away from the Mogappair East bus terminus, still operates white board services to Broadway.

Mogappair East terminus has stopped M-70 (Mogappair East to Thiruvanmiyur), citing poor revenue collection. Instead, M-70 is being operated from CMBT to Thiruvanmiyur via Jafferkhanpet and Guindy. As a result, commuters from the neighbourhood have to board at least two buses to reach CMBT to board M-70 and reach Thiruvanmiyur via the IT Corridor.

Similarly, bus service 141 C is not stopping at Mogappair (both west and east of the neighbourhood) before proceeding towards CMBT. Bus service 141 C is being operated between Elango Nagar near Mogappair and Thiruvanmiyur. Such key bus services should halt in key neighbourhoods including Mogappair as this would reduce commuters’ reliance on small bus services.

Reduction of services is not restricted to the regular buses. Services of small buses have also been scaled down. For example, small bus route number S52, operated between Mogappair East and Ayyambakkam, is down to just one service from the terminus. Prior to the lockdown, two small bus services were operated between these places.

“Steps will be taken to restore frequently-used bus services from the terminus soon,” says an MTC official.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 9:05:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cooling-their-heels-at-the-terminus/article32649770.ece

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