Owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu, TNSTC is a public transport bus operator which provides Intercity bus services within the state and to the major cities in the neighboring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala. With a fleet strength of over 23000 buses, it also operates intra-city local bus services in many cities.
However, in Chennai, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), a subsidiary of TNSTC, looks into the bus service. TNSTC is the largest bus corporation of India. TNSTC online booking platform provides the commuters the facility to book tickets online. TNSTC bus booking can also be done at the computer reservation centres mentioned on their website. There are currently 77 such centres in the state.
Types Of Buses
Most of the Deluxe and Ultra Deluxe buses operated by TNSTC and SETC use customized buses built on the chassis supplied by Ashok Leyland and Tata Group. However, the luxurious air conditioned buses are mostly supplied by Volvo. Currently, there are 5 types of buses operating in the state.
Town Buses and Low Floor Buses
These buses have no steps between the ground and the floor of the bus. They are mostly operated on intercity routes.
They comprise the largest chunks of the buses plying in the state.
Many of the buses are equipped with video screens catering to the entertainment of the viewers.
Ultra Deluxe Non-AC Coaches
They have recliner seats and operate between important commercial centres to major cities.
Air Conditioned Buses
The AC buses which ply in the intra city routes in Chennai are operated by MTC while SETC operates the buses that connect the district headquarters to the state capital.
TNSTC Online Bus Booking
The official website of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation provides a safe and easy way to book buses online. TNSTC ticket booking is easy and hassle-free. Due to the heavy rush during the festive season, SETC operates special buses during this time. SETC bus booking can also be done on the TNSTC website. Here are the steps for TNSTC/SETC bus online booking.
Visit the website http://www.tnstc.in/TNSTCOnline/
You can login to the website by clicking on ‘login’ button if you already possess an online account with your Username and Password. Follow steps 3 and 4 if you don’t have an account.
If you don’t have an account, you have to register with your personal details like email id, date of birth and phone number. Apart from numbers and alphabets, 3 other special characters dot (.), hyphen (-) and underscore (_) are allowed in the password. After entering the details, click on the ‘Register’ button.
You will receive a registration confirmation message. You can now proceed to the login page.
Now enter the source and destination of travel. You have 4 options to select the bus schedule: Before 12PM, 12PM-8PM, 8 PM-12 AM and ANY time. You will be directed to a new page showing different buses, their types and their routes.
Click on the ‘Book’ button on the bus of your choice to proceed with TNSTC booking. You will be redirected to a page where you have to enter your identity details and also select the seat convenient to you. There are concession seats available for senior citizens. Once you are done with your details, click on ‘Submit’
Note: You must carry a valid id card and the name on the card must match with the name of the passenger mentioned during booking.
In the next page you have to confirm your itinerary. You will receive your e-ticket in your email inbox after you make the payment.
Note: The booking is held for 7 minutes until the payment is made.
The payment gateway is secured and you can make the payment through Credit Card/Debit Card/Internet Banking. Once you make the payment, voila! You are done. You have the e-ticket at your hand.
There several rules for online booking with TNSTC which you should adhere to. These are:
- Reservation can be done ahead of 60 days of travel
- There is a 50% concession in ticket price for children between age 3 and 12.
- The journey tickets can’t be preponed or postponed.
- You can be refunded a maximum of 90% of the fare if you cancel the ticket 48 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure. You are liable for refund of 80% of the fare if you cancel between 24 to 48 hours before the departure time. You can’t cancel tickets 1 hour prior to departure. However, if you cancel between 1 hour to 24 hours before your departure time, you can still get a refund of 75%.
- The refunds to the concerned bank accounts will be made within 14 days of the cancellation.
redBus: An Effective Alternative
redBus is the best online bus ticket booking platform in India. Acquired by the ibibo Group in June 2013, it stretches a step ahead in the online travel booking with its user-friendly iOS and Android mobile applications. Here are a few advantages of redBus over other online booking platforms:
- redBus has a larger pool of buses as compared to the TNSTC (or SETC).
- You can book a bus based on the customer feedbacks and ratings.
- redBus has received several awards for being the ‘most trusted brand’ in India in the last few years.
- There are several filters on the booking site where you can filter buses based on their operators, departure time, amenities and boarding point.
- Promotional offers, cashbacks and lucrative discounts are available from time to time on the site. Thus, you can save more with your online bookings on redBus.
- It is possible to track your bus in real-time and further you can get handy information about the bus stops on your route. This is particularly useful for travellers who are not much versed with the language of a place.
- 24×7 dedicated customer service to cater your queries and needs even if you are on-the-go.
Currently there are over 8 million trusted users of its apps and desktop platform. Thus, with redBus you are just a few clicks away from your online travel booking.
SETC bus services are setting a benchmark in several operational areas. Over 1 lakh passengers use the bus services in the state to commute to their destination. With smartphones and internet penetrating into the remote villages of the state, SETC online bookings are likely to receive an impetus. Thus, if you are a planning your visit to Tamil Nadu, book buses online.
Road Network In Tamil Nadu
According to the available data as on March 30, 2017, the road network in the state spans up to 199, 040 km. State and National highways comprise around 9% of this road network. National highways have heavy traffic intensity and connect the major cities, economic centres and tourist places. Of the 29 National Highways plying through the state, 12 of them completely lie within it. Expressways are distinctively the best quality of road networks and currently, India has one of the lowest density of expressways in the world.
However, two expressways: Chennai Bypass (32 km) and Chennai Outer Ring road (29 km) are operational in full swing in Tamil Nadu. The major road junctions in the state are Madurai, Tuticorin, Chennai, Vellore, Coimbatore, Karur, Kanyakumari, Trichy and Krishnagiri. With approximately 2.5 times the national average road density, Tamil Nadu boasts of well connected bus service 24 hours a day. Road transport is provided by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC). Excellent service for SETC bookings, outstanding vehicle productivity, tyre performance and minimal operational cost have led SETC to achieve several national awards in road transport sector.
A jewel in the Coromandel Coast, Tamil Nadu is endowed with abundant natural reserves. It boasts of a wide range of flora and fauna, hills and sea beaches. It inherits a distinctive Dravidian culture with origin tracing back to over 4000 years old and beautifully crafted temples which add to the scenic beauty of the state.
Tamil Nadu was ruled by several dynasties like the Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas for centuries. The kings of these dynasties utilized their opulence earned through numerous conquests to build grandiloquent temples. Today, the state homes eight UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Further, Rameswaram, in the Gulf of Mannar at the tip of the Indian peninsula, is a major place of pilgrimage. It is considered to be one of the Char Dhams according to the Hindu mythology. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise to record over 330 million tourist footfalls every year, making it the largest tourism industry in India.
Tamil Nadu has a buzzing economy making it one of the developed states of the country according to the ‘Multidimensional Development Index’ published in 2013 by Reserve Bank of India. It ranks third in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) next to Maharashtra and Delhi.
Chennai is a prominent economic centre housing some of the major IT sector companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS and automobile industries that includes the likes of BMW, Ford, and Mahindra & Mahindra. Such major developments wouldn’t have been possible without an extensive road network and efficient transportation system.