Why doesn’t the Tamil Nadu State Transport introduce Volvos and Scanias for long-distance travel?
20 years ago, TN had one of the best transport corporations in India. Bus routes, timings, connectivity, bus model & condition, etc were really above average and at times great. Remember till the mid-90s there were about 20 different transport corporations operating from different district headquarters as the base, each of them sporting name of the state/regional leader/icon? Old timers will recall transport corporations like – Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation, Thanthai Periyar Transport Corporation, Rani Mangammal Transport Corporation, Pandian Roadways Corporation, Dheeran Chinnamalai Transport Corporation, Annai Sathya Transport Corporation, JJ Transport Corporation, etc. Each of these transport corporations had distinct model of buses, grading of vehicles as luxury, deluxe or regular service, based in different district headquarter, different fares, etc.
If you board any tnstc bus in morning or evening, you will obviously see some masons and their helpers carrying the tools for construction, you will see an old lady carrying flowers, vegetables from the main town to her place of where she sells and earns a livelihood. Like this you will see people from different walks of life using the bus for their livelihoods other than commuting purpose.
People who say our services have been compromised because of corruption are correct. But as far as i had seen this is the best government owned service in India (some of the worst buses are found in Nagercoil and Kanyakumari).
This from my experience of living in the interior parts and most backward regions of TN, I was always able to reach the most interior parts (barring hills like Valparai, Manjolai) at any point of time. Atleast you will be able to reach a kilometre or two from your place of residence. The moffusil services run 24*7.
Operation Costs: A Volvo costs three time a Leyland or a Tata. Already TNSTC runs on marginal profit or in losses. We can’t run Volvo. Some years back Volvo was introduced in Chennai as MTC buses and some inter city services to Kanchipuram and Vellore. The price were pretty low when compared to other services. A volvo ticket from CMBT to Guindy costs around RS30, the prices will be revised once 5 or 10 years. The same distance if you travel by BMTC in Bangalore, for instance from Majestic to Koramangla, it costs around 80 and they revise there price every month. Biggest problem of BMTC is the ratio of Volvo to , express and normal buses are almost equal. 10 volvo buses means 10 express buses and 10 normal buses. Now coming to BMTC pricing, to maintain the operation costs it has reached the maximum for Volvo( some of the Airport services costs in 4 digits) so it increases the ticket prices for normal buses which is used by common man like you and me. So we have bear the costs of Volvo also.
So the decision taken by TNSTC not to ply Volvo is based on strong cost benefit analysis and welfare model.
Normally government provides services when no private player is willing to provide the services. I believe that already TN has huge private players in Volvo connecting every major towns and cities so there is no need for TNSTC to provide Volvo services.
Another Reason : TNSTC employees did huge strike and didn’t operate buses and even many did hunger strikes. Every TNSTC employees will be deducted certain money for their Insurance and the corporation deducted the money from their salary every month but the Government did not pay that money to the Insurance Company . Simply they looted that for their personal use.They cannot simply give the employee’s money to themselves then how come they buy those Costly buses which cost in crores ??.
In every Court say District,taluk and etc There will be buses which was seized because the corporation failed to give compensation money to victims and their family which caused accidents. Corporation doesn’t mind losing buses then how come they afford to buy luxury buses ???
Ticket rates and lowest in Tamil Nadu in whole South India , Except few Major cities in Tamil Nadu . Operating cost to Income ratio is too low and they cannot spend much money in luxury buses.
Generally people like to spend less money with desired quality, If TNSTC introduce Luxury buses automatically the ticket rates will be less than Private Luxury buses and it will affect the private bus corporation income. Many Private Corporations have sound political influence, they will try to stop government in launching buses.
Many buses in Tamil Nadu are in worst operating conditions, instead of maintaining them and replacing them with buses in proper condition, buying luxury buses is not a good idea. Having all these difficulties TNSTC won’t operate luxury buses for now .