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MTC wants ticket revenue to make up for salary hike- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

CHENNAI:  After increasing employees’ wages, the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has ordered that the resulting additional expense of Rs 6.5 crore should be covered by boosting ticket sales. The MTC said its expenditure on salaries will rise by Rs 10 crore from September following the 14th wage settlement and 3% enhancement of dearness allowance (DA).

To make up for this, Rs 3.5 crore can be earned through advertisements (non-ticketing revenue) on buses, and Rs 6.5 crore should be obtained by increasing ticketing revenue, said the MTC’s finance department in a recent directive to regional managers and depot managers.

It also fixed a monthly ticket-collection target at each depot, and directed the managers to ensure drivers and conductors are sensitised to increase their collection. As per official data, 55% of transport undertakings’ earnings are spent on salaries.

As for how ticketing revenue can be released, an official said, “Unscheduled leave of drivers and conductors, cancellation of trips, and termination of services for want of employees often leads to a decline in earnings. Even a few trips on high-demand routes have been cancelled for trivial reasons.”

The per-day patronage of MTC buses, which stood at nearly 2 crore until January 2018 fell below 75 lakh last year and crossed 1 crore recently. “Ticketing revenue is slowly rising. Depot managers have been told to ensure resources are used optimally to bring commuters back to MTC,” added the official.

MTC’s fleet strength is 3,223, of which about 2,800 buses are used every day and the rest are used as spare buses. Arumuga Nainar, of CITU Employees Federation, said ticket earnings vary depending on the season and timing. “During peak hours, most buses are overcrowded. The order indirectly blames the bus crew, which is unfair.”

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