Chennai airport buses hit invisible walls

There has never been a good link bus service from the City of Chennai to its airport. In the 1990s, the service was deliberately neglected to give the privately owned taxi services an advantage. One company came to dominate the transport link, even running its own bus service, while the State-owned service crumbled.

The new buses at the Chennai airport
This picture from The Hindu shows the new airport buses, which operate in fits and starts

The DMK, which used its clout with the UPA government to get funds for Volvo buses, did not think it necessary to operate a sound bus link using this most suitable fleet. People were willing to pay for good service, but the government did not act. A new route from the airport to the Central railway station was quickly killed. Private taxis flourished. However, the pedestrian subway to the Tirusulam suburban rail station was opened, after long delays. No effort was made to design it to meet the needs of disabled people.

Now, the AIADMK has introduced an air-conditioned mini-bus service, pulling out the hop-on, hop-off buses from the tourist circuit. Naturally, that is not working, as this report in today’s The Hindu indicates.

The corruption in airport transport links seems to be taking a turn for the worse with each successive government, whatever its political colour. The loser is the passenger.


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