Voice your views

THE CITY once had the distinction of being the best bus service prior to 1972. Now the condition is worst. But for the introduction of mini-buses, the situation would have become worse. On account of population growth the Government, instead of expanding the fleet, has reduced it. The buses have also become rickety because of mal-administration.

To tide over these, equal participation of private operators must be permitted.

D.J.C.Barnes, 1, Singarayar Colony, Madurai - 2.

IT IS a known fact that a flourished city like Madurai does not have a good city bus service. Though appeals have been made to the authorities concerned, no appropriate measures have been taken.

For school students, office-goers, workers, etc., the city bus services are the only mode of transport. What haunts one is two or three buses, plying on the same route, coming one behind the other, instead of coming at regular intervals.

Though the transport corporation seems to take some measures, the end result is not positive . The reinforcement of `peak hour bus services' is essential. A survey of the city where peak hour bus services are essential should be conducted. Encouraging the private bus services is also a welcome measure.

E.Thulasi ram C-32, TCE Men's Hostel, Madurai - 15.

AT BEST, running and proper maintenance of city bus services is an important utility for city commuters.

The efficient city bus service, run by the TVS with the least friction either by the staff or commuters, has not faded from public memory. Will it be too much if an appeal is made to the State Government, who monopolised the running of city bus services, staff and commuters alike to help evolve a workable scheme to overcome the present difficulties that confronted the present service.

M.Ratnasabapathi, 29, Maruthupandiyar St, K.K.Nagar, Madurai - 20.

IT IS disheartening to say that city bus services are not up to the mark. The city bus service does not understand the real needs of the citizen. They speak much of rules than of service.

The transport corporation plies buses with various tags such as LSS, BLSS, etc. But one could hardly find any difference in the speed, since they mostly drive themselves behind the ordinary services. The only variation is that they do not halt at certain stops, which remains the only reason for pulling out more coins from our pocket.

The destination boards lacks proper lighting res. The drivers are more conscious of their time than serving the public.

They should understand that it would be improper to ask the citizens more and more for the same and sometimes ever worse facilities are given.

S.Lakshmi Priya, AIWC & RC Ladies Hostel, 19, Vallabhai Road, Chokkikulam, Madurai.

AS A student in the late fifties, I still remember how the city bus service in Madurai used to be in those days under the TVS management. It used to be passenger-friendly; courteous and on time. The buses were spick and span road worthy. None of these are available in the present day city bus services. The bus fare has been kept low artificially and eventually the system became most uneconomically viable. The proper maintenance of the fleet has taken a beating and we find only rickety buses. The only plus point of the nationalisation is service to far-flung villages.

The only solution is to privatise the whole city bus service while the Government retains control over its operation. For this the machinery has to be totally free from corruption, which is perhaps like asking for the moon.

R.K.Sundaram, 294, Karpaga Nagar, K.Pudur, Madurai - 7.

CITY BUS services should be operated within the corporation limits. But the services are extended beyond the limit in all directions. The running conditions of city buses are far from satisfaction. Hence, instead of running city buses on long distance routes, mini-buses and share-autos may be allowed to run inter-connecting all major bus stands and major terminals. After the introduction of share-autos, people prefer to travel by them without minding the fare.

Allowing both the regular city buses and share-autos on the same routes also results in traffic snarls.

K.Venkataraman, A/T/2, Porkudam Apartments, Bye-Pass Road, Madurai - 10.

WHEN city bus service was taken over by the State, TVS handed over 105 buses only to the Pandian Roadways Corporation. Now, the number of buses in the city has increased enormously to thousands carrying over lakhs of passengers every day.

The present younger generation may not be aware of the earlier hardships of commuters during sixties. Frequency between one bus and another was absent. We have to wait hours together to board a bus. Suburban places were not connected by bus service.

Now the scenario has vastly changed. City buses' coverage in the interior places has improved with intermittent frequency. Interlinking of buses is also available to the desired destination without much loss in time. Conductors in the city buses are issuing tickets going to the seats of the passengers inside the bus. There may be some lapses on the part of the crew and other deficiencies in the administration. An organisation consisting of 1000 buses and the crew may be having certain deficiencies. We must approach the problem in a holistic way.

S.N.Gurusamy, 23 A, Annai Nagar, Anna Nagar, Madurai - 20.

CHAOTIC AND horrifying - That's how the city bus services in Madurai are. One gets sick at the very thought of travelling in a city bus here. It is deplorable to see the services remain, without any significant improvement, even after the entry of minibuses and share autos.

The poor cyclists and two wheelers have to run for their life, when these "speedsters" are on the road.

The attitude of conductors leaves much to be desired. Most of them seem to suffer from "selective amnesia" when it comes to the matter of handing over the fare balance. Those, who dare to ask, will be greeted, with sarcastic look and selective expletives.

As regards the city buses, the less said, the better.

M.Devadoss No.8, 5th Street, Kovalan Nagar, Madurai- 625003.

BUS SERVICES in a city should be efficient, economic and safe. The followings points require special attention.

* The boards and the inscriptions on the bus shall clearly show the important stops and route.

* The conductors and drivers shall act as guides for the passengers.

* ` First Aid Boxes' and `Complaint Books' shall be made compulsory in all buses.

* They should abide by all traffic rules especially about over - crowding and speed.

* They should be kept neat and clean.

* The seats reserved for women and the handicapped shall not be allowed to be usurped by others.

V. Sujatha, Mepco Schlenk Engg. College, Sivakasi - 626 005.

COMPARED TO all other town buses, only city bus services are poor.

The Government must give permission to private bus services in city bus routes.

V.Pradeep Kumar, III Year, B.Tech(IT), Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai-15.

TRANSPORT NETWORK contributes to the growth of an urban city like Madurai. One important goal of city bus services is to provide an equal access to people of all socio-economic groups. The city bus services problem is concerned with issues of accidents, peak hour mobility and congestion, alternatively idling of capacity, pedestrian movements, environmental impact, vehicle parking and traffic dispersion. These problems have stemmed from the negligence on the part of the management of city bus services.

It is the need of the hour that something should be done with city bus services. But in reality, no one agency, whether corporation, State Govt. Central Govt. can single handedly do any meaningful planning of transport services in the city. The people are willing to contribute to relieve the tremendous distress that a poor city bus services system entails to them, but there is no forum where they cen contribute.

Dr.(Mrs) B.Shyamala, Prot & Head, Dept. of Economics, Fatima College, Madurai-18.

ROADS IN the city are not wide enough to allow fast moving vehicles. Hence, there is no point continuing express service. The city bus service can safely eliminate LSS and Express service keeping uniformity in all routes.

T.Rangaswami, `Sri Gokulam' No.3, 4th Cross Street, Doak Nagar, Kochadai, Madurai-16.

THERE IS a deeply felt malaise afflicting the city bus services as they are beset with so many deficiencies. To name a few, about 80 per cent of the fleet of buses of the State Road Transport Corporation in Madurai are so running beyond their lifetime.

As the buses are dusty, their engines are not capable of functioning normally. It makes one wonder whether State-owned buses enjoy immunity from emission control measures. The buses do not, often, stop at the designated points. The drivers bring the buses to a sudden halt about 30 to 40 feet either ahead of or away from the points, resulting in commuters running to board the bus. Just imagine the plight of the ladies and senior citizens.

V.Krishnamoorthy, 3/110, II Street, Indian Bank Colony, Narayanapuram, Madurai - 625 014.

WITH THE increase in population in the city, increase in number of city bus services becomes imperative. Private operators may be permitted to ply mini-buses on all city routes to cope with increased traffic.

R.Shanmuganathan, 12/13 A-B, Puli Thevan St, Marudhupandian Nagar, Madurai - 625 002.

THE TOWN buses proceeding to Periyar Bus Stand via Arasaradi are taking circuitous route from the railway over bridge to the Madura College bridge to reach Periyar Bus Stand which stretches nearly a kilometre. The office-goers had to take risk of jumping down from the moving bus near Kattabomman Statue, to save time. If the buses are allowed to enter Periyar Bus Stand at the end of railway over bridge via the auto stand, it will not only help the commuters to save time, but also help the TNSTC to save fuel to a greater extent.

R.Balaji, 32, Income Tax Colony, Madurai - 18.

CITY BUS service was at its best when operated by the TVS. After nationalisation, the routes and intensity of the service increased, catering for interior villages. However, the quality of service suffered for various reasons.

If the services are to be improved, authorities should ensure the following: Buses should be stopped only at the stops, which should not have any encroachment. Queue system should be introduced in all stops. Mini bus service and share auto operators should be provided with separate stops. RTO should inspect buses every quarter.

Accountability for accidents should be imposed on the crew also.

Pollution check should be made mandatory every six months.

Spot fine should be imposed for overcrowding and overspeeding.

S.Natanagopal, 5, Vellai Pillayar Koil Street, S.S.Colony, Madurai-10.

BUS SERVICE is one of the important facilities, which have a significance in the economy.

But, unfortunately Madurai, a tourism centre is handicapped by a poor service.

Even after the hike in fares, buses are in sorry state in the city.

The administration also did not address some of the serious problems both affecting the passengers and the fleet as well.

So the need of the hour is to chalk out a plan for replacing the outdated buses and make some innovative measures to create a passenger-friendly atmosphere.

CR. Kumaran, 3/3, Indian Bank Colony Ist Street, Narayanapuram, Madurai-14.

THE CITY bus services handle some lakhs of passengers.

It is really doing a good job inspite of its limitations like old fleet, bad roads, paucity of reliable spares, unsatisfactory maintenance, staff absenteeism, ticketless travel, etc.

It is imperative to analyse the traffic patterns, to improve frequency of bus services, and solve connectivity problems faced by commuters.

In the first place, tourist specials can be an attractive service, besides bringing an additional revenue to the Government.

City bus services on the ring road need to be popularised.

In general, there is a strong case for subsidising further the public transport system.

V.Venkataraman, Plot:350, Anna Nagar, Madurai-20.