Life on Tracks and Roads – An Overview of Public Transportation Systems

Public transportation plays an important role in day to day life of a common man. More than 50% of people in India use public transportation for reaching their destinations. I was very much impressed by the transportation facilities of Chennai. The government of Tamil Nadu plays a major role in this area. It gives importance for the comfort of the public by providing different means of reliable and cheap transport. It is a very big city with a population of lakhs of people. Accessing the nook and corner of Chennai at any time of a day is very easy with the well established suburban trains and road transport system.

Suburban trains are used as a medium for transport by thousands of people daily. The punctuality and frequency maintained by suburban trains are highly appreciable. The timings of the train are planned according to the requirement. There are numerous trains within every 5 minutes during the peak hours, i.e.; morning and evening, when most people travel. All major locations are connected through suburban tracks and these trains are also very cheap and affordable to common man. The trains also have separate first class compartment which have good seating facility at a little higher rate. I made a mistake once while travelling on a suburban train with one of my friends. We were traveling in the suburban train for the first time and also we were new to the city. We took the tickets for ordinary compartment and accidentally went in to first class without noticing it. Actually we didn’t know that such separate class was existed. After travelling nearly half of the way the ticket examiner came to examine the tickets. We just showed him the tickets without knowing that we were in the wrong compartment. He understood that we came in by mistake. He explained to us that the ticket we took was not for the first class. We were shocked to hear that the fine was more than 250 rupees for one person. But he was a very nice person. He was kind enough that he took the fine for only a single person.

Another major mode of public transport is the Buses from the Transport Corporation of Chennai. Buses are accessible to all the parts of the city where the trains cannot go. Buses connecting to various locations also play a vital role in day to day life. The bus routes are identified by numbers or codes which help people who are not familiar with the regional language. Buses also have various classes ranging from ordinary, deluxe, Volvo and so on with different comfort zones. Various tariffs are implemented for different people to choose travel facility as per the thickness of their wallets. Share autos also do remarkable service for transportation. You can choose share autos for short distance travel. You can also avail the facilities of call taxi at a very reasonable rate.

Autos are also a medium for public transport chosen by many people. But it is very expensive. The reason for this is that the government does not have any control over the charges imposed by these autos. As there is a huge amount to be spent for availing the transport permit for autos, the drivers are charging too high to recover that amount. The interesting fact I noticed is that their charges always ends with a zero. They do not care about the meter readings or they don’t set the meters. I do not know why the government or the transport authority is maintaining silence in this matter.

The government of Tamil Nadu has set an example to other states by controlling the fares of transportation. The effort of the government to control the transport cost against the frequent rise in fuel prices is much appreciable. It has not raised the bus fares for the last 8 years. Flyovers are constructed in most of the areas which makes travelling easy through these roads. The conditions of the road are maintained in a well appreciable manner which reduces the accidents and the wideness of the roads wipes out the anticipated traffic jams. The role of domestic air transport is also playing a key role in meeting the day to day requirements of many people. It is common to see people travelling by domestic air to various cities and come back the same day after completing their job. To add with, the government has started extending the metro rail to improve the transport facility even better.