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Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai)

Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai) Limited
Parent Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation
Founded 1972
Headquarters Pallavan House, Anna Salai, Chennai
Locale Chennai
Service area Chennai Metropolitan Area
Service type Normal, Express, Deluxe, Air Conditioned Deluxe and Small Bus
Fleet 3,421[1]
Operator Government of Tamil Nadu
File:Chennai Openstreetmap Public Transport Density Map.png
Heatmap of the coverage of public transportation in Chennai City

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (formerly known as Pallavan Transport Corporation) sometimes known as the MTC, is the agency that operates the public bus service in Chennai, India. It has an operating area of Script error: No such module "convert"..[2]

MTC was previously unable to provide proper services to commuters as it had little real time information about its routes. However, since March 2014, using data analysis of tickets booked through electronic ticketing machines, routes now better reflect passenger demand in the city with buses allocated according to the demand on each route. Among other measures introduced to increase services and revenue, trip lengths have been shortened, frequency increased on high-demand routes and route numbers have been made easier to remember.

The biggest reason for the rise in revenue, MTC officials say, is the introduction of 'cutservices,' or shortening of routes. So far, the frequencies of buses on 12 curtailed routes have been increased. For example, buses on route 51 (Tambaram-Velachery) used to ply every 10 minutes. Now, they ply every five minutes on the rechristened '51cut route' between Velachery and Medavakkam.

Each bus now travels an average distance of Script error: No such module "convert". against the previous Script error: No such module "convert".. Another 100 routes are in the pipeline. In the next two months, MTC will also start getting GPS data and tailor routes with more precision.[when?] However, there is still a long way to go before the corporation can achieve the perfection it seeks. "Most of the routes are still decided in an archaic manner — based on political pressure and pressure from residents groups," said an urban planner who did not want to be named.

Before e-ticketing machines were introduced, the MTC planning wing was stacked with papers containing details like revenue collections from each route. The staff would read through stacks of letters from commuters across the city requesting extra services and allocate an extra bus or improve frequency of services on a particular route based on the number of letters received.

MTC officials are always under pressure from councilors or MLAs to introduce new bus routes to or through their constituency even though such a move may not be the most profitable of options. "While this is not always bad as certain routes need to be run even if they are not profitable, MTC as an operator should cover its basics first and meet the demands along high-capacity routes," said an expert in the field of public transport.[3]


Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai - Dn.I) Ltd was established on 1 January 1972 with a fleet strength of 1,029 buses. The operational jurisdiction is the Chennai Metropolitan area. It served 176 routes and had 8 depots, including those at T. Nagar, Adyar, and Vadapalani. Depots at Anna Nagar and K. K. Nagar were established in 1973.[4] The Pallavan Transport Corporation was split into two and a new Corporation, namely, Dr. Ambedkar Transport Corporation Ltd. started functioning from 19 January 1994 for this split Poonamallee Depot were splited buses covers Broadway via Koyambedu, Ambathur, and Redhills came under Dr. Ambedkar Transport Corporation Ltd and south-bounded bus broadway via Guindy, Tambaram, and T. Nagar came under Pallavan Transport Corporation. Pallavan Transport Corporation was renamed as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Madras Division –1) Limited, Dr. Ambedkar Transport Corporation was renamed as Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Madras Division-II) Ltd., on 1 July 1997.

In order to make the Corporations viable, and for better administrative control, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Madras Division II) was amalgamated with Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Madras Division I) Ltd in 10 January 2001. The fleet strength of the Corporation at 1 March 2009 was 3,260 with 25 depots, a body building unit at Chromepet, a ticket printing press at K.K.Nagar and Reconditioning Unit at Patullos Road. During the year 2002-2003, 117 buses have been purchased for replacement. After 2007, thousands of number of buses are purchased for new services as well as replacement for old buses.

As of 2012, the corporation operates 42,961 services daily in 800 routes.[5] The driver strength at MTC is 5,000 as against a required driver strength of 5,800.[6]

Increase Over the Years[4]
1972 2013
Depots 8 25
Fleet 1,029 3,637
Route 176 771
Employees 12,178 23,519
Passenger/day 1.2 million 4.967 million
Occupancy ratio NA 75.83%
Revenue/day 200,000 28,356,000


Per RTO rules, an MTC bus could accommodate a maximum of 73 passengers, including 48 sitting and 25 standing. However, buses carry over 150 passengers in some routes, especially during peak hours, with many travelling on the footboard of the bus resulting in several accidents.

File:Chennai MTC's ordinary fare bus.jpg
An ordinary fare (white board) bus
MTC's Tata Marcopolo Bus
File:CityBus Vestibule.jpg
New vestibule bus with LED display
An MTC AC Volvo Service
File:MTC Bus 21G.JPG
A MTC SLF plying route 21G

Single-deckers All the buses in the MTC are from either Ashok Leyland or Tata Motors, with the former having a vast majority. These buses were launched since the 1990s and even today many of those old-fashioned buses continue to receive overwhelming response. Most of the buses are BS-III compliant while the newly ordered Ashok Leyland Viking SLFs are BS-IV Compliant.

Semi-Low floor buses The corporation has also introduced huge number of semi low floored and deluxe buses with improved passenger amenities like improved lighting, plastic moulded seats and driver operated pneumatic, doors into its fleet from February 2007. These buses are from Ashok Leyland, with the body built by various body building shops which Ashok Leyland has partnered with - Prakash Coach (SM Kannappa Automobiles, Bangalore), Veera Vahana Udyog Ltd, Irizar-TVS, G.S.Body works etc. and account for the majority of the buses. The newer range of these semi-low floor buses supplied under JnNURM feature BS-III engines and LED display and majority are from Ashok Leyland, with a few TATA Marcopolo buses also in service, while the older buses are Ashok Leyland BS-II compliant. The total number of buses in this segment is over 1800. The new lot of 150 BS-IV buses are in operation now, they are from Ashok Leyland.

Vestibule services Apart from the regular and low-floor buses, MTC also runs articulated buses from Ashok Leyland to traverse the most-congested routes. The fares are similar to those of ordinary and express services. These buses have 2 conductors, plastic moulded seats and LED boards (Some of these buses still continue to have regular boards). However these buses do not have pneumatic doors nor feature the chassis of the semi-low floor buses.

Air-conditioned buses MTC has launched the Volvo AC Bus services in Chennai on selected routes. It is expected that the number of AC buses running in the city is likely to increase many folds in the upcoming years. These B7RLEs have high-tech features such as ABS, Retarders, Kneeling, etc. and relatively better interiors. There about 100 of these buses running on select routes at regular intervals. All the buses are Euro V compliant. These buses are so popular that a 30 of them have been transferred to Villupuram Division the of TNSTC, and make trips to Pondicherry, Vellore, Villupuram and Hosur.

Small buses MTC has launched small bus services in Chennai on Interior and Remote places of Chennai City and its suburbs. Small Bus are so popular in Tambaram, Tharamani, Nungabakkam and several other places . TATA bus chasis is used for Small bus.

Advertising facilities are available on these buses, which can be availed at reasonable costs. Advertisements are mainly print visuals that can be arrayed in the interiors and the exteriors.

MTC Fleet Over the Years[7]
Year No. of buses on road No. of buses off road Total
2007-2008 2,344 287 2,631
2008-2009 2,792 370 3,162
2009-2010 2,958 327 3,285
2010-2011 3,007 355 3,362
2011-2012 3,034 374 3,408
2012-2013 3,027 356 3,383


The Metropolitan Transport Corporation has 27 depots, each with an average parking capacity of 100 buses.

The 27 depots of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (as of 2014) are listed below:

MTC Depots
S. No. Depot Depot code Old code Region Fleet strength Scheduled services
1 Adambakkam AB Nil Chromepet
2 Adyar AD B Adyar 210 195
3 Alandur AL K Chromepet 138 128
4 Ambathur AM E Ayanavaram 177 165
5 Anna Nagar AN H Ayanavaram 214 197
6 Avadi AV X Ayanavaram 148 136
7 Ayanavaram AY C Ayanavaram 168 154
8 Basin Bridge BB NIL Tondiarpet 45 41
9 Besant Nagar BN NIL Adyar
10 Central Depot CD NIL Adyar 178 165
11 Chrompet CR W Chromepet 149 138
12 Ennore EN K Tondiarpet 63 59
13 Iyyappanthangal IY Y Chromepet 159 147
14 K.K.Nagar KN G Chromepet 185 169
15 Madhavaram MV F Tondiarpet 140 130
16 Mandaveli MN J Adyar 85 79
17 Perambur PR S Ayanavaram 161 149
18 Poonamallee PM V, Z Ayanavaram 179 164
19 Saidapet SP M Adyar 130 121
20 Tambaram TA O Chromepet 222 204
21 T.Nagar TN L Adyar 96 90
22 Thiruvanmiyur TR R Adyar 149 141
23 Thiruvottriyur TV N Tondairpet 106 98
24 Tondiarpet – 1 TD A Tondiarpet 140 130
25 Tondiarpet - 2 TW T Tondiarpet 76 71
26 Vadapalani VP D Chromepet 189 175
27 Vyasarpadi VY P Tondiarpet 130 119
Total 3,637 3,365


As of 2012, MTC's advertisement revenue per month is 86 lakhs.[8] About 2,000 of the MTC's 3,400 buses have been maintained by companies that advertise on the buses since December 2011, but the advertisement space was open for all to bid. In 2012, MTC decided to allow only those companies that take up the cleaning assignment. Still they will have to pay the market rate for the space, while they will get paid for the cleaning. As of 2012, the corporation pays 18 per bus per cleaner every day.[9]

As of feb 4 , 2015 The total revenue per day per bus is now 2.75 Cr[10]



The MTC buses have an occupancy ratio (average number of passengers to total seating capacity in a bus) of 84.35%. It means during peak hours the buses carry much more passengers than it can. Each MTC bus can carry 72 people, including 24 standing passengers. The occupancy ratio in Chennai is among the highest for the 38 transport corporations in the country.[11] [12]

Lack of Integration with MRTS stations

The major reason for lack of seamless transfers with the Mass Rapid Transit System is because of MTC services not integrating with the MRTS network. [13][13]

Many of the MRTS stations are far away from bus stops.[14][14][14][14][15]

Recently mini-buses have been started to plug these gaps in connectivity. There are buses to various parts of the city from the airport and some air passengers and many airport employees, use the service. The bus stop is close to the old international terminal, but quite far from the new domestic terminal.[16][16]

Accidents and Rash Driving

MTC has been notorious and infamous for rash driving and accidents. MTC has fewer buses than transport corporations in other metro cities, but they cause the most fatal accidents.[17] In Chennai, MTC’s 3,637 buses killed 104 people in 2012.[17] The transport corporation had only 3,260 buses in 2008, but they accounted for accidents in which 145 people died.[17] Bangalore's BMTC has 6,437 buses. BMTC buses were involved in fatal accidents that claimed 83 lives in 2012. 26 died in Mumbai in 2012 because of accidents involving vehicles from BEST fleet of 4,607 buses.[17]

The police are helpless as MTC drivers are unionised.[17] Every time they take action against drivers for traffic violations, they protest by staging road blocks and Controlling them is impossible.[17]

People killed in accidents that involved MTC buses[17]
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
142 145 138 132 112 104 98

In 2013, as on 28th Nov 2013, 97 people were killed in accidents involving MTC buses.[17]

Accidents have also been an irritant with MTC for sometime. MTC drivers are a law unto themselves - They get away with the active support of their colleagues, who flock together in a show of solidarity, which the policemen cannot muster.[18][19] [19][20] [21] A senior official blamed the unions and ‘comradeship’ among the drivers as the sole reason for such violations, including jumping signals, continuing unabated.[18]

Accidents over the years[21]
Year Fatal Non-fatal
2009 109 384
2010 106 351
2011 112 436
2012 103 351
2013 (up to 25 July) 62 215

To mitigate the no. of accidents, officials of the corporation and the traffic police conduct refresher courses and yoga classes for MTC drivers.[19][19][22][23] There is an acute shortage of staff in the MTC organisation. A chronic lack of manpower,on certain days MTC has used fewer than 2,400 buses.[19] MTC has not formulated policies to mitigate the stress of the drivers. MTC bus drivers work without weekly off and leave for long periods, thanks to the acute staff shortage and this results in compounding their stress levels.[22]


There have been complaints about operator behaviour[18] on MTC buses and these have been effectively addressed by the administration by having special counseling and yoga sessions for the workers.[24][24][25] The entrances to MTC buses are high and most buses have at least two steps. This poses risk and difficulty for passengers to alight or board the buses, as the crew is not supportive.[12][26]

Bus terminals in bad condition

Broadway MTC terminus is located in the heart of the city or in downtown Parry's corner near Fort, but is in a terrible condition. The stench of urine and garbage haunts passengers even before buses enter the terminus. While men cover their faces, women turn their faces away to avoid seeing men urinating on the pavement. The terminus is used by around 1.5 lakh people daily. The toilet is pathetic and the staff of the agency in charge of maintenance sit under an umbrella outside, unmindful of the stench, dutifully collecting the due charge for the convenience.The toilet is mostly used by bus crew, workers of nearby metro rail construction site and occupants of a cluster of huts adjoining the terminus, while most others use the pavement as a toilet. Police are least bothered. Women shy away from the terminus's toilets as it is not safe for them. Piling garbage fuels this problem. The blame game is on as MTC officials said the city corporation was responsible for maintenance of the terminus.[27]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "About Us". Metropolitan Transport Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  3. ^ [2] , "Times Of India".
  4. ^ a b Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (5 July 2013). "City Needs More Wheels". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 6 Jul 2013. 
  5. ^ "சென்னையில் கூடுதலாக 16 புதிய பணிமனைகள்: அமைச்சர் செந்தில் பாலாஜி நேரில் ஆய்வு". Maalai Malar (in Tamil) (Chennai: Maalai Malar). 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 Jul 2012. 
  6. ^ Narayanan, Vivek (14 July 2012). "Beware, bus drivers on the edge". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 14 Jul 2012. 
  7. ^ Philip, Christin Mathew (16 November 2012). "Buses disemboweled, Left to Rust". The Times of India (e-paper) (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 16 Nov 2012. 
  8. ^ "MTC buses to get LCD monitors". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). 10 August 2012. Retrieved 12 Aug 2012. 
  9. ^ Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (6 November 2012). "MTC plans to barter ad space for cleaning buses". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 9 Nov 2012. 
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (23 February 2013). "Chennai buses burst at seams". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Karthikeyan Hemalatha (16 October 2013). "HARD RIDE FOR AGED IN CITY". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Sreevatsan, Ajai (16 August 2011). "MRTS lessons worth learning". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d Liffy Thomas and T.Madhavan (5 October 2013). "Train stations, a road too far". The Hindu, Chennai. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  15. ^ G Ananthakrishnan (23 Sep 2013). "Not all together here". The Hindu,Chennai. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Sunitha Sekar (3 June 2013). "For passengers, it’s a long walk from airport to bus stop". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Karthikeyan Hemalatha (30 November 2013). "No stopping MTC KILLING SPREE". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c MTC drivers: a law unto themselves? (30 July 2013). "MTC drivers: a law unto themselves?". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Karthikeyan Hemalatha (2 July 2012). "Despite fewer buses, MTC’s death rate overtakes other fleets". The Times of India, Chennai. 
  20. ^ "Driver of bus that fell off Anna flyover dismissed by MTC". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). 25 October 2012. Retrieved 25 Oct 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Jebakumar, R. Prince (29 July 2013). "MTC buses kill over a 100 every year". The New Indian Express (Chennai: Express Publications). 
  22. ^ a b N Vinoth Kumar (1 August 2013). "Stressed into breaking the rules, say MTC drivers". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (12 December 2012). "Crowded buses kill as MTC uses few in fleet". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Christin Mathew Philip (18 Oct 2013). "Drivers rude, MTC officials admit after 2,000 complaints". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  25. ^ Rajagopalan Venkataraman (31 July 2013). "Bus-stop, an oxymoron for MTC drivers?". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  26. ^ M Ramya & Karthikeyan Hemalatha (12 Dec 2012). "THE HANGING DANGER". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Broadway MTC terminus now a stinking problem". The Times of India, Chennai. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

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