Transport Minister K.N.Nehru has been speaking about the DMK Government being concerned about the inflationary impact of higher bus fares (report in The Hindu here). This is a case of shedding crocodile tears for the Chennai commuter, who is already at the receiving end of the DMK regime’s backdoor increase of fares under the guise of deluxe, Express, M series and Volvo buses with no substantial increase in operating efficiency, service levels or ticketing reform.
Mr. Nehru has apparently not done much reading of late. The country’s first fully planned bus system in the city of Indore has deluxe buses that are operating on a much more scientific system than available at the MTC. They are also a lot cheaper.
There is greater transparency on the part of the Indore Bus Company, and a far more modern system. For the benefit of those who are making us feel guilty about paying Rs. 7 to Rs. 15 in so-called non-airconditioned deluxe MTC buses, we would like to reproduce here, the fares advertised by the Indore service provider on its website:
(Accounting for minor deviations) ICTSL has finalized following fare structure:
Upto 3 K.M. fare Rs. 3.00
Upto 7 K.M. fare Rs. 5.00
Upto 10 K.M. fare Rs. 7.00
Upto 13 K.M. fare Rs. 10.00
Upto 16 K.M. fare Rs. 12.00
Source: Citybus Indore
At least now, Mr. Nehru and his party must stop telling the Chennai travelling public that it is doing it a favour. He should instead be flushing out the MTC of those corrupt elements who are responsible for the corporation running grimy, rickety, run-down, overloaded and dirty buses at unconscionably higher fares. We can only emphasise the need for the Manmohan Singh government to refuse any more concessions to the MTC, which has been notorious for continuing with its opaque ways.
See in this video, the quality of bus travel a few days after the 10 per cent petrol price hike in Chennai, reflecting the interest of the DMK Government in improving the service.
We would also like to reproduce here, the features of the Indore bus as provided on the Citybus Indore website: