Commuters will heave a sigh of relief that Chennai’s Metropolitan Transport Corporation is to get 700 plus additional buses, augmenting its grossly insufficient fleet. This report in The Hindu by Aloysius Xavier Lopez has details.
The questions that need to be answered are:
a. How was this figure for additional buses arrived at by regulator CUMTA?
b. Will they meet the All India Bus Code (AIS 052) standard, which is vital to make them universally accessible by persons with disabilities, the elderly and children.
c. Was any public consultation held on how these buses will be operated? There are competing demands for service from several areas, including those in the outlying areas.
d. When will the next review be conducted for augmenting the ageing MTC fleet, which has a fair amount of junk on wheels?
Talking of junk, it is interesting that during the recent London Underground strike, the operating agency, Transport for London was able to rustle up some additional bus service, by deploying its old Routemaster double deckers. Not sure we can pull off something like that!