Chennai, March 10: (MTC) buses do not stop at the halts built for the purpose but at undesignated spots near traffic signals, disrupting the movement of other vehicles and inconveniencing passengers.
Near Luz corner, a new passenger shelter was constructed by the Chennai Corporation a few months back a hundred metres away from the crossing. But MTC bus drivers prefer halting the buses right near the crossing, where the old bus stop had been located. Unwary passengers waiting at the new shelter run after the buses which go past them and halt at the old stop.
“The shelter is in a wrong place because passengers wait at the signal. We stop there to get more passengers,” says MTC bus driver D. Mayadevam, who has been driving on Thiruvanmiyur – Broadway route for the past nine years.
Tamil Selvarajam, Assistant Director (Public Relations), MTC, said “The Chennai Corporation is in-charge of building passenger shelters at bus stops and have constructed over 400 bus stops in the past year. The response is not good as people prefer standing on the road rather than sitting in the shelter.”
The traffic cop stationed at the Mylapore crossing blamed both the drivers and the passengers for the traffic mess at peak hours.
“Bus drivers rush to overtake, and are not able to stop at the passenger shelter. A new bus stop has been created by the drivers at the signal as they only stop here,” he said.
Selvarajam however justified the location of the bus stop at Mylapore saying that its close proximity to the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School was the reason why the Corporation decided to construct the shelter there. Students and parents used the passenger shelter every day.
However Mythili Raghavan (76), who goes to Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School to pick her grandson, gets annoyed each day because the MTC buses do not stop at the correct location.
“I am an old woman with a small child, I have to rush to get on the bus because they don’t stop where we wait,” says Raghavan.
At Gandhinagar in Adyar, the actual location where buses stop is 100 metres away from when the passenger shelter is located. Buses coming in from Madhya Kailash crossing, do not stop at the passenger shelter and race to cross the traffic signal before halting, thereby forcing the passengers to stand in the open rather than at the shelter.
Arun Daniel (45), works in the IT sector and travels to Guindy on the MTC buses. Each day is a new struggle for him to catch the bus. “Having to stand in the sun and not at the passenger shelter is irritating. Buses try avoiding the signals and overtake other buses to pickup more passengers, thereby making us stand in the sun.”
Just outside Guindy Railway station, the old bus shelter was recently demolished to construct a new one. It has however been four months, but the shelter has not yet been constructed. Commuters have to wait for buses right on the main road, often causing traffic snarls.
Selvarajam was quick to pass the blame on the Corporation as MTC didn’t have any say in construction of passenger shelters.