Three thousand new buses will be introduced this year at a cost of Rs.548 crore for the State, and the city will get 250 buses, including 100 mini-buses, Transport Minister V. Senthil Balaji informed the Assembly on Tuesday
The mini-buses will act as a transit transport facility between the residential locality of the commuter and bus stops/train stations. Out of the 3,000, the Chennai State Express Transport Corporation will get 299 buses, Villupuram transport corporation 550 new buses, Salem 301 buses, Coimbatore 530, Kumbakonam 540, Madurai 380 and Tirunelveli 250 buses.
The Minister also said air-conditioned Volvo buses would be operated from all districts to Chennai. In 2012-2013, it has been decided to have services from Madurai and Coimbatore.
The number of scheduled services of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) would increase from 3,140 to 3,500. The services of all State transport corporations would be increased from 19,167 to 20,000.
Mr. Balaji also announced an increase in the number of State-owned transport corporations from the present eight to 10. This would be given effect, based on the report of a technical committee to be set up for the purpose.
The State Transport Corporation, Kumbakonam, would be split and a new one based in Srirangam would be established for catering to Tiruchi, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Karur districts. The Kumbakonam-based corporation would serve areas such as Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Sivagangai and Ramanathapuram.
The Transport Corporation, Villupuram, would be bifurcated into Transport Corporations — Villupuram and Vellore. The latter would serve Vellore, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts. The government will also provide Rs.13.91 crore to transport corporations to retrieve buses that have been seized.
The ‘travel as you please' scheme which was introduced in Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruchi, Madurai and Tirunelveli will also be extended to Vellore, Erode, Tirupur and Tuticorin.
Free smart cards distributed to students by the MTC would be extended to all transport corporations.