Chennai: The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) in an attempt to reduce expenditure, has trimmed bus services to various destinations after 10 pm.
MTC officials, while admitting this, stressed that they were constrained to reduce services to some extent, considering poor patronage during the night.
Sources said that the MTC, which is reeling under revenue loss following fare revision last January, has in the recent past been trying various methods to step up its revenue.
For instance, the corporation had introduced a lot of cut services, supposedly aimed to hike revenue. It had subsequently started recruiting retired staff for its various vacant posts, in the name of 'cost-cutting'.
"Now, the MTC has reduced bus services after 10 pm. But this measure has largely affected passengers, particularly, workers and office-goers. The corporation, which earlier operated buses once in every five to 10 minutes beyond 10 pm, has now reduced services, thus increasing the waiting time of passengers," said a staff at the Pallavan headquarters, pleading anonymity.
"Usually, MTC would lessen its services only during holidays, citing poor patronage. But, things are opposite now. You have to be at the bus stop by 10 pm or at least 10:30 pm to catch buses. Or else, you will have to wait 30 minutes more," said a passenger in Ambattur.
MTC has drastically minimised its services even in busy areas like T Nagar, Adyar and Vadapalani, the passenger added.
General secretary, Labour Progressive Federation, M Shanmugam, said, "First of all, MTC should understand that it functions in the public sector, and it should not work with an aim to increase revenue at the cost of public."
Decision-makers at the top level in the department adopt strategies without considering the inconvenience caused to the public, Shanmugam noted.
When Deccan Chronicle contacted MTC, a senior official claimed, "Not much services have been reduced. In fact, we have increased night services. There are a lot of buses plying in many stretches without considerable patronage, prompting us to cut the services."...