Tamil Nadu Budget 2024: Extension of free bus travel to hills

CHENNAI: The free bus travel scheme, which is currently available on TNSTC ordinary buses for women, trans persons and persons with disabilities, will be extended to mofussil buses in the hilly areas including Kodaikanal, Nilgiris and Valparai. An allocation of Rs 3,050 crore has been made for the financial year 2024-25 to compensate state transport corporations for implementing the scheme.

350–380 buses ply on the ghat sections like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Valparai and neighboring villages, with 90–95% of the mofussil services operated by the respective transport corporations. Ordinary buses constitute only 5% of this share.

As a result, women in hilly areas were not able to avail free travel in government buses. “Mofussil services cover distances of 150-300 km. It has not yet been made clear how far women will be allowed to travel in mofussil buses.
“Unlike normal buses, it is not possible to allow free travel up to 300 km from end to end in a mofussil bus. We are waiting for detailed guidelines to implement the scheme, a senior official said.

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