Picture used for representational purpose only
CHENNAI: Government buses, which allow free commute for women, are collecting Rs 10 as minimum fare from men.
The minimum fare was Rs 5 earlier. Regular bus users allege the state transport corporation is illegally overcharging male passengers to cover the additional expenses incurred towards free bus travel for women.
When contacted, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Villupuram, said it will rectify the mistake. The corporation is responsible for running town and mofussil services in Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram — suburban areas outside Chennai metropolitan area.
But it stopped operating town buses to interior locations a few years ago citing poor patronage. Only mofussil services, which charge much higher compared to town services, are being operated Women can travel for free only in town services and not in mofussil services. But TNSTC mofussil buses, which depart from Thiruvallur bus stand, carry boards on front saying women can travel for free in them too.
“If so, it must be categorised as a town bus service, for which the minimum fare is ?5. If they continue to collect ?10 per head, then it can’t allow women to travel free,” said ‘Citizen’ Senthil, a resident-activist from Iyyapanthangal.
Such violations have become common in town buses from Thiruvallur to Uthukottai, Periyapalayam, Ramacheri, Kanchipadi, Thiruvalangadu and Sriperumbudur routes.
There are two categories of mofussil services — ordinary and express. The latter is a limited bus stop service and fare is a bit higher. “However, express category buses halt at almost all the bus stops en route. There was no difference in travel time compared to an ordinary category bus. Then why charge more,” asked Senthil.