Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai)

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Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai) Limited
TamilNadu Logo.svg
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 3,798 [1]
Operator Government of Tamil Nadu
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 3,929 square kilometres (1,517 sq mi).[2] Has the highest road related accidents and casualties in the country.


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.[3] 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 split 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 on 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.[4] The driver strength at MTC is 5,000 as against a required driver strength of 5,800. Local thugs and rowdies are employed as drivers. Abuse and rash driving are a way of life for these people.[5]

Increase Over the Years[1][3]
1972 2016
Depots 8 46
Fleet 1029 3798
Route 176 594
Employees 12,178 24,052
Passenger/day 1.2 million 5.184 million
Occupancy ratio NA 75.83%
Revenue/day 200,000 30,034,000


Per RTO rules, an MTC bus could accommodate a maximum of 83 passengers, including 48 sitting and 27 standing. However, buses carry over 160 passengers in some routes, especially during peak hours, with many travelling on the footboard of the bus resulting in several accidents.

Deluxe bus from Ashok Leyland
An ordinary fare (white board) bus
MTC's Tata Marcopolo Bus
New vestibule bus with LED display
An MTC AC Volvo Service
A MTC SLF plying route 21G

Normal buses These buses in the MTC fleet were manufactured by Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. These buses were launched in the 1990s and some continue to ply while the majority have been replaced in favor of newer buses.

Semi-Low floor buses The semi-low floored and deluxe buses have improved passenger amenities like improved lighting, plastic moulded seats and driver operated pneumatic, doors into its fleet. The first set of such buses from Ashok Leyland were introduced in February 2007. The newer range of these semi-low floor buses supplied under JnNURM are BS-III compliant and have LED displays.

Vestibule services MTC also runs articulated buses provided by Ashok Leyland in congested routes. The fares are similar to those of ordinary services. These buses have 2 conductors, plastic moulded seats and LED boards

Air-conditioned buses MTC runs Volvo B7RLE air conditioned buses on selected routes. There about 100 of these buses running on select routes at regular intervals.

Small buses MTC has launched small bus services to connect remote places of Chennai and its suburbs. These buses are provied by Tata.

MTC Fleet Over the Years[6]
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
2015-2016 3,797 460 4,257


The Metropolitan Transport Corporation has 46 depots, each with an average parking capacity of 200 buses.

The 46 depots of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (as of 2016) are listed below:

MTC Depots
S. No. Depot Depot code Old code Region Fleet strength Scheduled services
1 Adambakkam AB Nil Chromepet 49 46
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
10 Besant Nagar BN Nil Adyar 27 25
11 Central Depot CD Nil Ayanavaram 178 165
12 Chromepet - I CR W Chromepet 149 138
13 Chromepet - II CW Nil Chromepet
15 Ennore EN K Tondiarpet 63 65
19 Iyyappanthangal IY Y Vadapalani 159 147
20 K.K.Nagar KN G Vadapalani 185 169
22 Kundrathur KU Nil Vadapalani 20 69
23 Madhavaram MV K Tondiarpet 20 41
26 Mandavelli MN J Adyar 85 79
27 MKB Nagar MB Nil Tondiarpet
28 Padiyanallur PL Nil Tondiarpet
30 Perambur PR S Ayanavaram 161 149
31 Poonamallee PM V, Z Anna Nagar 187 333
36 Saidapet SP M Vadapalani 130 121
37 Semmencherry SM Nil Adyar
38 Tambaram TA O Chromepet 222 204
40 T.Nagar TN L Vadapalani 96 90
41 Thiruvanmiyur TR R Adyar 149 141
42 Thiruvottriyur TV N Tondiarpet 106 98
43 Tondiarpet - I TD A Tondiarpet 140 130
44 Tondiarpet - II TW T Tondiarpet 76 71
45 Vadapalani VP D Vadapalani 189 175
46 Vyasarpadi VY P Tondiarpet 130 119
Total 5,460 6,579


As of 2012, MTC's advertisement revenue per month is 86 lakhs.[7] 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.[8]

As of feb 22, 2016 The total revenue per day of all the buses is 2.75 cr [9]


The MTC buses have an occupancy ratio (average number of passengers to total seating capacity in a bus) of 84.35%. Each MTC bus can carry 72 people, including 24 standing passengers. The occupancy ratio in Chennai is amongst the highest for the 38 transport corporations in the country.[10] [11]

Connectivity with MRTS and airport[edit]

The MTC services are not integrated with the Mass Rapid Transit System.[12] Some of the MRTS stations are located away from bus stops which makes transfers difficult.[13][14] Recently mini-buses have started to ply as a feeder to plug the 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 international terminal.[15]


The accident rate of MTC is high compared to similar metropolitan transport corporations in the country.[16] In Chennai, 104 people died in 2012 in accidents involving MTC buses. The driver unions are blamed for violations going unpunished and continuing unabated.[17][18] [19]

People killed in accidents involving MTC buses
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2016
142 145 138 132 112 104 98 94
Accidents over the years[19]
Year Fatal Non-fatal
2009 109 384
2010 106 351
2011 112 436
2012 103 351
2013 62 215
2016 61 214

To mitigate the no. of accidents, officials of the corporation and the traffic police conduct refresher courses and yoga classes for MTC drivers.[17][20][21]


There have complaints about operator behavior[22] on MTC buses and these have been effectively addressed by the administration by having special counseling and yoga sessions for the workers.[23][23][24] The entrances to most buses have at least two steps. This poses difficulty for some passengers to alight or board the buses.[25] Some of the bus stations are poorly maintained.[26]

MTC officials are under pressure from councilors and 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.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ "About Us". Metropolitan Transport Corporation. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (5 July 2013). "City Needs More Wheels". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "சென்னையில் கூடுதலாக 16 புதிய பணிமனைகள்: அமைச்சர் செந்தில் பாலாஜி நேரில் ஆய்வு". Maalai Malar (in Tamil) (Chennai: Maalai Malar). 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 Jul 2012. 
  5. ^ Narayanan, Vivek (14 July 2012). "Beware, bus drivers on the edge". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 14 Jul 2012. 
  6. ^ Philip, Christin Mathew (29 February 2016). "Buses disemboweled, Left to Rust". The Times of India (e-paper) (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 29 Feb 2016. 
  7. ^ "MTC buses to get LCD monitors". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). 10 August 2012. Retrieved 12 Aug 2012. 
  8. ^ Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (6 November 2012). "MTC plans to barter ad space for cleaning buses". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 22 Feb 2016. 
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (23 February 2013). "Chennai buses burst at seams". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (16 October 2013). "HARD RIDE FOR AGED IN CITY". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Sreevatsan, Ajai (16 August 2011). "MRTS lessons worth learning". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Liffy Thomas and T.Madhavan (5 October 2013). "Train stations, a road too far". The Hindu, Chennai. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  14. ^ G Ananthakrishnan (23 Sep 2013). "Not all together here". The Hindu,Chennai. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Sunitha Sekar (3 June 2013). "For passengers, it’s a long walk from airport to bus stop". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (30 November 2013). "No stopping MTC killing spree". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Karthikeyan Hemalatha (2 July 2012). "Despite fewer buses, MTC’s death rate overtakes other fleets". The Times of India, Chennai. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ a b Jebakumar, R. Prince (29 July 2013). "MTC buses kill over a 100 every year". The New Indian Express (Chennai: Express Publications). 
  20. ^ N Vinoth Kumar (1 August 2013). "Stressed into breaking the rules, say MTC drivers". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Karthikeyan Hemalatha (12 December 2012). "Crowded buses kill as MTC uses few in fleet". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  22. ^ MTC drivers: a law unto themselves? (30 July 2013). "MTC drivers: a law unto themselves?". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ Rajagopalan Venkataraman (31 July 2013). "Bus-stop, an oxymoron for MTC drivers?". The New Indian Express, Chennai. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  25. ^ M Ramya & Karthikeyan Hemalatha (12 Dec 2012). "The Hanging danger". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Adarsh Jain (22 December 2013). "Broadway MTC terminus now a stinking problem". The Times of India, Chennai. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  27. ^ [3], Times Of India

External links[edit]