According to official data, SETC last Sunday operated more than 310 buses compared to 210 weekday services. The company managed to transport more than 15,000 passengers on Sunday despite a 35% shortage of bus crew.
Since most of the trains are running at full capacity due to the summer holidays, passengers are informed very late about the status of their tatkal ticket. This has led to an increase in the frequency of last minute reservations for SETC buses to 10,000 reservations per day. On working days, there were 5,000 bookings a day, a senior SETC official said.
Such is the demand for AC buses that MTC’s AC buses in the city can be seen operating at full capacity despite charging a higher fare (15 to 80) compared to luxury services (11 to 49).
For a city with a population of 90 lakh and 30 lakh regular bus commuters, there are only 48 AC buses with MTC half of what it had four years ago. Transport activist R Rengachari said: “It is disappointing not to see enough AC buses despite huge demand. “.
Even in existing buses, the air conditioning systems are frequently faulty. “The gas levels in these systems are not checked regularly and the dust in the air conditioner vents is not cleaned properly,” said TR Pandian, a regular user of the SETC bus.
The SETC official said that they have not operated most of the AC buses for over two years and have now deployed a special team (with representatives from LG Air Conditioning Systems) to Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT), Koyambedu to deal with all these complaints. .