Monday, May 01, 2006

Fleecing the public to increase the revenue - A frustrating experience on my journey by TNSTC bus.

I was waiting to catch the bus for Pondy at Koyambedu Bus terminus on Saturday-29/4/06. Due to holidays ahead there was a huge crowd waiting to catch the bus. Finally at 5.15 p.m. one bus with route board reading “PP Cuddalore” reached the bay. Many people rushed inside to catch their seats. Then came a surprise announcement from the conductor. The bus is “Express service to Cuddalore” and normal fares does not apply and only passengers bound to Pondy and Cuddalore would be allowed to travel. We were surprised to see a sticker pasted by the conductor to the front glass of the bus which reads “EXP”. The PP service was changed to EXP instantaneously.

All the buses which were bound to Chidambaram and Cuddalore parked adjacent to our bus were found to be given a similar treatment.

The fare increase works out to additional 6Rupees for Pondy and 8 Rupees for Cuddalore. When the conductor was asked about this, his prompt reply was that this is as per the instruction from his superior.

The registration of the bus is TN 32 Y 2246 bound to Cuddalore. The bus left Koyambedu bus stand at 5.45 p.m. Although it was claimed to be an Express Service no much difference could be felt on the service offered, which stopped at all places i.e at Tambaram, Melmaruvathur,Tindivanam and reached the nearby of Pondy at about 9.45 p.m. . As many as 15 passengers were bound to Tindivanam. Although the bus was packed to the full with passengers standing at the footboard too, the crew were still trying to add some more passengers by stopping at Melmaruvathur which caused further frustrations to the already irritated passengers.

Just by simply pasting a sticker “EXP” the TNSTC is making an additional revenue of more than Rs600 to the exchequer without any additional benefit to the passenger.

Is this an ethical way??.

Will the concerned authorities please give a look and save the public.

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