Category: News and Events

NO MORE TICKETS TO RIDE :: MTC to introduce smartcards

Keep the change: MTC to introduce smartcards

Trial On OMR From March, Regular Users To Benefit

As a first step towards a future without bus conductors, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) will introduce smartcards by March next year. Adyar and OMR will be its trial routes.


The corporation has placed an order for 6,000 electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) that can be used to swipe smartcards as well as dispense tickets. The smartcards can be topped up by a conductor or at a bus depot. “We will also authorise third-party agencies to recharge the cards, like prepaid phone cards,” said a senior official at the secretariat.

Once the entire system is in place, commuters will be able to use their smartcards across all modes of transport — buses, trains and metro rail — without worrying about getting change or buying separate tickets. Authorities will know, in real time, the demands of passengers in different sectors in the city.

The plan is to have passengers tap their cards as they enter the bus, which would not have a conductor. “We will run this as an experiment on OMR as it has the highest number of Volvo buses and passengers on this route are more open to change,” said the official. About 100 ETMs are on trial now.

Those buying monthly passes will be the first to get smartcards. MTC’s system will be compatible with that of the upcoming metro rail. “We are finalising the specifications, and will float the tenders for smartcards soon,” said the MTC official. MTC has about 10,000 conductors on its rolls, and once the system in place they will be used to conduct surprise checks and inspections.

Initially, MTC’s smartcards will be offline and ticketing information will be stored locally on the ETM. “Till CMRL sets up its system, our smartcards will just be validated by ETMs,” said a source.

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has been pushing for an elaborate common ticketing system. It will offer smartcards for regular users and tokens for one-time users. “We are working on a system that will accommodate all the players,” said an official. CMRL will be able to monitor their patronage in real time with this system.

Last month, CMRL held a workshop on fare collection. Officials from the state transport authority, MTC, Southern Railway, Centre for Railway Information Systems, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, IRCTC, call taxi operators and representatives of bus ticket booking websites attended it.

Metro rail had proposed a common smart card for electronic fare collection as per international standards. “The challenge is to split the revenue with the department concerned. We are waiting for a response from others,” said the CMRL official.

In Kochi, Private Bus Operators’ Association last month introduced a smartcard system on a pilot basis in 40 buses on the Ernakulam-Kakkanad route. In Bhubaneswar, city bus operator Dream Team Sahara introduced smartcards for commuters on October 10 to deal with the problem of coin scarcity. Several western countries use smartcards that work across different forms of city transport.


  • Electronic ticketing machines | 6,000
  • Smartcards to be issued soon
  • To be used first on OMR
  • Those buying daily, monthly passes to benefit
  • Smartcards will be recharged at depots, by agents
  •  Ticketing information such as time, distance, number of tickets sold will be stored
  • Once metro rail is operational, same card can be used across bus, auto, call taxi, train and even for parking
  • System will go online and authorities can get real-time information on usage
  • Independent body will be set up to collect revenue and split it with different departments

Source: Times of india | Karthikeyan Hemalatha | TNN

Stuck on OMR? Pour out woes on FB

Chennai:When youspend25% of your day stuck in traffic, what do you do? Find an online forum to rant.Closeto 6,000 people are members of the ‘I hate commuting on OMR’ page on Facebook.

Stuck on OMR

 “There are so many of us who work at one of the offices on OMR and live far away. Four hours of our life every day is spent on commuting from home to office and back. This is a forum for us to vent our frustration,” readsthedescription.

The biggest complainers are the ones who use private vehicles. “I live in Thoraipakkam and I hate getting out of my house between 6pm and 8pm or 9am and11am!Ittakes me more than one hour to reach Thiruvanmiyur signal!” posted AnirudhJRon the page.

“Vehicles come in the wrong direction, there is no respect for signals, people cross roads at their whim and fancy,” postedDeepakParab.

While users of the page blame pedestrians for the traffic mess, the government is pushing for better public transport as the solution. MTC is improving services in the locality so that more people take the bus, and fewer private vehicles clog the road.

“It is impossible to reduce traffic congestion as long as people use private vehicles,” said ShreyaGadepalli, regional director at Institute of Transportation andDevelopmentPolicy.

Around 1.6 lakh people in the IT and BPO sectors work on OMR. “Another 30,000 support staff make their daily commute. This stretch accounts for 70% of the IT sector in Tamil Nadu,” saidKPurushottam,senior director atNASSCOM.

Officialsfrom theTamilNadu Road Development Corporation, which maintains the road, said they built the road thinking it would be able to support thetrafficfor 20 years.The road wasopenedin October 2008. “In 5years,the roadhas reachedits saturation point. We have no clueon how many moreITcompanies are going to come up,” said an official.

Earlier this year, chief minister J Jayalalithaa announced a 45km elevated corridor between Madhya Kailash and Mammallapuram. “Consultants to study the feasibility of this projectwillbechosen in the next two months,” said a TNRDCofficial.

Source: Times of india | Karthikeyan Hemalatha | TNN

Small Bus in OMR, Chennai (or) Mini Bus in OMR, Chennai

Tamilnadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha inaugurated the minibus services on today (Wednesday, October 23, 2013) in Chennai. Initially 50 mini buses were operated on the first phase.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha already announced in the assembly that mini buses would be operated in the areas where the normal buses cannot be operated. Minibus services, named Small Bus, aimed at offering connectivity and feeder services in the suburbs and in localities with narrow roads, where the current Chennai Bus Routes are not able to offer their services. On the first phase 50 mini buses are operated from today (Wednesday, October 23, 2013). A minimum of two and maximum of four mini buses will be operated in these routes. The opening ceremony took place at 11am in Nehru indoor stadium, Chennai. The buses were be flagged off by Chief Minister Jayalalitha after attending the ceremony.

The 50 mini buses will ply in 20 routes. These 50 new mini buses will ply on routes having distance between 6 kms to 10 kms, with a minimum fare of Rs.5. The Chennai Small Bus will have a seating capacity of 27.


Small Bus Routes in OMR, Chennai

Altogether 20 routes are covered of which one route is allocated to Old Mahabalipuram road .The route starts from SRP tools and ends at Mettukuppam . All the route numbers start with ‘S’  and the route number for SRP tools to Mettukuppam is S14.The route covers the following places along OMR:

Ambedkar Nagar,
Kamaraj Nagar,
Telephone Nagar,
Ellai Amman Kovil,

It passes through RMZ IT park in perungudi as well. A total of 3 buses ply this route on OMR at a frequency of about 15 – 30 minutes

Route No: S14
From Taramani SRP Tools to Mettukuppam
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Taramani (Tharamani), CTS, Amdedkar Nagar, Kamaraj Nagar, Telephone Nagar, Ellai Amman Kovil


Small Bus Routes in Chennai 

The mini bus routes are Pallavaram – Tirusulam Sakthi Nagar, Chromepet – Medavakkam, Chromepet – Madambakkam, Perungulathur – Arungal, Guindy Asargana – Keelkattalai, Guindy – Velachery, SRP Tools – Metukuppam, Ramapuram – Porur, Porur – Pattur, Iyyapanthangal – Kummnanchavadi, Iyyapanthangal – Thiruverkadu, Maduravoyal – Valasaravakkam, Vadapalani – Koyambedu mofussil bus terminus, Vadapalani – Thiru Vi Ka park, Ashok Pillar – Metha Nagar, Ambattur OT – Murugappa Polytechnic, Madhavaram – Retteri Junction and Moolakadai – Manali.

Routes for the mini buses have been finalised, routes are,
1. Ramavaram to Porur.
2. Moolakadai to Manali.
3. Madavaram to Redhills.
4. Guindy to NGO Colony via Kilkattalai.
5. SRP Tools to Mettukuppam.
6. Ashok Pillar to Metha Nagar.
7. Vadapalani to Koyambedu.
8. Pallavaram to Trisulam.
9. Chrompet to Madampakkam via Medavakkam.

The Chennai Minibus Routes which have been announced are listed below :

Route No: S1
From Pallavaram to Tirusulam Sakthi Nagar
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Old Pallavaram, union carbide colony

Route No: S2
From Chromepet to Medavakkam
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Indira garden, Nehru nagar, kumaran kundram, asthinapuram, tirumalai nagar, jeyendra nagar, sembakkam, kavurivakkam

Route No: S3
From Chromepet to Madambakkam
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Chilapakkam, mahalakshmi nagar, raja keelpakkam, kozhipannai

Route No: S4
From Chromepet to Medavakkam
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: MIT, Nehru nagar, kumaran kundram, pallavan driving school, Radha nagar, nemilicherry, Nanmangalam, kovilambakkam

Route No: S5
From Perungalathur to Arungal Village (East of Guduvancheri/Urapakkam)
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Oorapakkam, karanai puducherry, karanai kattur

Route No: S11
From Guindy Asarkana to Kilkattalai
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Burma colony, moovarasan pettai

Route No: S12
From Guindy Asarkana to NGO Colony
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Adambakkam, kakkan pallam

Route No: S13
From Guindy to Velachery
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Maduvangarai, NGO colony, Brindhavan nagar, mahalakshmi nagar inner ring road

Route No: S14
From Taramani SRP Tools to Mettukuppam
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Taramani (Tharamani), CTS, amdedkar nagar, Kamaraj nagar, telephone nagar, ellai amman kovil

Route No: S21
From Ramapuram to Porur
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Ramapuram arasamaram, poothapedu, china porur, kaarambakkam

Route No: S22
From Porur to Pattur (Near Mangadu)
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Ramachandra hospital,Iyyappanthangal, parani puthur junction

Route No: S23
From Iyyappanthangal to Kumananchavadi
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: SST oil mills, noombal road junction, puliyamedu

Route No: S24
From Iyyappanthangal to Thiruverkadu
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: SRMC, Sathiyalok gurukulam, chettiyar agaram, sivabootha medu, VellapanSavady

Route No: S25
From Maduravoyal to Valasaravakkam
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: AAlapakam Maduravayol junction, menakshi dental college hospital, Government higher secondary school, SS Motors, Arcot road, Allapakkam Junction

Route No: S31
From Vadapalani to C.M.B.T. Koyambedu
Number of Buses: 4
Mini Bus Route Via: Aavichipalli, Virugambakkam, kesavarthini, devi kuppam, ganga nagar, school street, Maduravayol eari karai

Route No: S32
From Vadapalani to Thiru Vi Ka park (Shenoy Nagar)
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Ram theatre, Best hospital, vanniyar street, periyar way, anna main road, arun hotel, Aminjikarai

Route No: S33
From Ashok Pillar to Metha Nagar (Aminjikarai)
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Puthu high school, Samiyar madam, kodambakkam power house, ponmani marriage hall, keelnagar, thiruvalluvarpuram

Route No: S41
From Ambattur OT to Murugappa Polytechnic (Sathyamurthy Nagar, Avadi)
Number of Buses: 2
Mini Bus Route Via: Valluvar road junction, kulakarai road junction, thirumullaivoyil junction, stateboard hospital

Route No: S61
From Madhavaram to Retteri Junction (Kolathur)
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Kalpana lamp, Birundha garden, prakash garden, kumaran nagar junction, kollathur

Route No: S62
From Moolakadai to Manali
Number of Buses: 3
Mini Bus Route Via: Ambedkar statue, RV Nagar, parvathi nagar, moolachathiram, palgipalayalam, china sekkadu, Manali Market

Each small bus route has about 2 to 4 buses buses, to enable timing of around 1 bus every 10 minutes.

Mini Bus Ticket Fare Charges:
The mini bus routes are having six stages from its starting point to end point. The minimum fare of Rs 5 to maximum fare of Rs 9 will be collected ad ticket charges from the passengers.

Related / Reference Links:

Mini buses ready to roll out in Chennai
Around 40 buses are ready and will be commissioned once Chief Minister Jayalalithaa gives the go ahead. The mini buses will ply on 100 routes. “We have decided on 40 routes for now. More routes will be added in the next phase,” said a transport department official. The buses will be green in colour.

Mini buses on inner Chennai roads from today
While MTC officials refused to talk on the record about the mini bus routes, sources said Nanganallur, Medavakkam and Madipakkam would get the service. So would interior roads of Vadapalani and Saligramam. These growing residential areas have been without last-mile connectivity, and people have been at the mercy of autorickshaws. For residents of Nanganallur, getting to the Guindy bus depot to catch a bus to other parts of the city has been a tough proposition. Similar has been the plight of commuters who live along smaller roads in the newly-added areas of the city.

100 minibuses to ply on 26 city routes
This was disclosed to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on urban development, which visited the city on June 9. To a query by the parliamentary panel, the State Government said that it had issued a purchase order for 100 buses. Twenty-five of the mini buses are ready for operation, while 75 more mini buses are expected to be received soon.

Now, ‘small bus’ service in Chennai
At the function, she gave pension benefits to 25 retired transport employees and sanctioned Rs 257 crore of pension benefits to other retired department employees. The State Government plans to set up a second water plant at Gummidipoondi for the Amma Mineral water scheme. Under the scheme, which was launched last September, one litre water bottle is sold at Rs 10 to passengers travelling in long distances buses.

Routes of Mini Buses in Chennai
Chief Minister Jayalalitha already announced in the assembly that mini buses would be operated in the areas where the normal buses cannot be operated.


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