Chennai buses most crowded in the country

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Chennai MTC buses are officially the most crowded buses in the country. An average of 1300 passengers travel on a bus per day.

“The total number of passengers carried by SRTUs (State Road Transport Undertakings) during 2014-15 was 2.54 lakh, 2.22% higher than last year. MTC Chennai carried the highest number of passengers per bus per day during 2014-15 (1,310.9) while Mizoram ST carried the lowest,” read the union ministry report titled Review of the Performance of State Road Transport Undertakings (Passenger Services) for April 2014-March 2015.

According to the report approximately 56.8 per cent of the fleet is overaged. MTC hopes to replace the old buses with new ones, but the process seems unusually prolonged.

“All new buses are used to replace old buses. We cannot increase the size or introduce new routes,” an MTC official told the Times of India (TOI).

The Tamil Nadu government had rolled out 7,153 buses from 2011-12 to 2014-15 under MTC. However, the fleet sized increased only by 1,574 (from 19,110 to 20,684).

Experts believe that overcrowded buses and poorly planned routes are the reasons for the high number of accidents. Several of the routes in the corporation are very long and are not utilized effectively.

“Every bus is carrying more than its rated capacity. As a result, the vehicle does not stop when brakes are applied and potentially, every accident can be attributed to overloaded buses,” an expert, who wished to be anonymous, told the TOI.

Overcrowded buses are not only dangerous but also uncomfortable for passengers with the onset of summer.

“It gets uncomfortably hot and sweaty. It is a sad sight to see the senior citizens and others travel in these buses as they have no other choice,” L Janakiram, a regular commuter from Porur, told TOI.

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