Chennai: The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses are
fleecing passengers as they are charging Rs 7 extra from passengers between Koyambedu and Poonamalle, despite the new government order (stating revised fares) issued by the State Transport Department recently.
Before 2010, the buses would take two routes between Koyambedu and Poonamalle — 24-kilometre stretch via Porur Guindy costing Rs 14 and 16-kilometer stretch via Maduravoyal costing Rs 9.
Due to the Porur bridge construction and Metro work, all the buses on the PorurGuindy route including 76C, 84, 89, 97, 100, 101, 102, 123, 201, 528 were
diverted to Madhuravoyal.
However, all the diverted buses were collecting Rs 14 as opposed to Rs 9 they are supposed to collect owing to the drop in the number of kilometers (from 24 to 16).
For seven years, the commuters were unknowingly paying Rs 5 excess for their rides, now they are paying Rs 7 extra, according to the new fares at 75 paise per kilometer.
“As per Motor Vehicles Act 287 (2), if a carriage needs to ply on temporary route, it should obtain the permit for that route and hence collect the fare fixed for that respective route. But in this case, they are collecting the fare fixed for its primary route though they run on secondary route. With the fares already exorbitant, it is imperative for the department to take action,” rued activist Senthil who acts on transport issues.
Conductors and drivers say they are unaware about ticket pricing. “After the fare revision, a couple of people have asked about the excess charge, but the officials have asked us to redirect such cases to them as most of the public do not take the pain to travel all the way to visit an official,” said a 76C conductor.
When DC contacted TNSTC officials before the new GO, they said the prices were supposed to be revised after the completion of reign of former Chief Minister in 2016. However, with a series of uncertainties that followed, they were unable to take a step. However, when contacted now, they still say that action would “soon” be taken.