Ever been on an overcrowded bus? There are thousands of them in Indian cities, especially the big ones.
A Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report titled ‘Review of the Performance of State Road Transport Undertakings (Passenger Services) for April 2014-March 2015’ tells us, among other things, the name of the city with the highest number of overcrowded buses.
Yup, ladies and gentlemen, the buses in Chennai are packed beyond capacity.
The report says that buses of Chennai’s Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) carries 1,300 passengers per bus per day, officially making them the most overcrowded buses in the country.
The total number of buses in Tamil Nadu is 20,684. The fleet size of Chennai alone is 3787 and they carried a total of 18,120 lakh passengers in the reporting year.
A TOI report gives us reasons why Chennai buses are so overcrowded:
1. There has not been any adequate increase in the number of buses.
2. Bus routes are unusually long. At times city buses travel the distance traversed by state buses in a single trip.
3. Most buses are too old to even run properly, causing accidents.
Indeed, the report tells us that 56.85 per cent of Chennai buses are over-aged.
Of course, old, overcrowded buses running on long routes will develop problems. It is no surprise then that we notice buses taking quite a while to come to a halt when brakes are applied.