A transport manifesto for Chennai

A slideshow story of a couple of passengers on an MTC bus getting acquainted with the corporation’s “checking squad” has drawn an unusual reaction from a reader.
He has objected to the depiction of Chennai in such bad light, and asked that the picture-story be either removed or made “private” (not visible on the web).
This blog will do neither.
I believe the series of pictures taken at Anna Salai’s P.Orr and Sons stop, of a blind man and a tourist being surprised by a posse of checking staff and asked to cough up Rs.100 fine is a telling representation of all that is wrong with Chennai transport and the Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
I would again draw attention to the persistent demand that the MTC should be more interested in collecting fares, and not making bus travel an ordeal.
Now that the Lok Sabha elections are approaching, if you are indeed concerned about the state of Chennai’s bus transport, do make the following demand to all political parties, starting with the UPA Government chief constituents, the DMK-Congress alliance, that made tall promises of a revolution using the National Urban Transport Policy, but failed to deliver.
We demand:

  • That the Unified Transport Authority in Chennai begin work immediately to bring rail, bus and feeder transport under its umbrella.
  • That MTC make available a continuously running series of pre-paid tickets, of the daily, weekly and monthly types.
  • The tickets should be available widely, daily tickets on board the bus, and all of them certainly at the MTC depots and major time-keepers EVERYDAY, without time restrictions.
  • MTC improve its services by augmenting the fleet in keeping with the promises made to Chennai commuters by the DMK Government repeatedly.
  • At present, the augmentation of the fleet has gone down sharply.

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