2002: Asia’s Largest Bus Terminus Opens to the Public

November 18, 2002

A new bus terminus was opened in the city of Chennai in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. Originally called Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, this facility provides an extensive range of bus transportation services and has become a major gateway in and out of the city. The terminus is specifically located on Jawaharlal Nehru Road (also called the Inner Ring Road) in Chennai’s neighborhood of Koyambedu.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms. J. Jayalalithaa.

Those taking part in the opening of the terminus in 2002 included Jayaram Jayalalithaa, who was serving her third term as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. As part of the inaugural festivities, Jayalithaa formally began operations by flagging off the first three buses in service at the terminus.

The facility was officially renamed Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MGR Bus Terminus in 2018 in honor of one of Tamil Nadu’s favorite sons. Maruther Gopala Ramachandran, who was widely known as M.G.R., had served as chief minister of Tamil Nadu between June 1977 and February 1980 and then again from June 1980 until his death in December 1987 at the age of 70. Along with pursuing a political career as far back as the 1950s, Ramachandran further established himself firmly in the public spotlight as an actor, filmmaker, and philanthropist. He became a cultural icon throughout Tamil Nadu, and his considerable popularity led many to call him Makkal Thilagam (“People’s King” in the Tamil language).

Dr. M.G. Ramachandran.

The terminus bearing his name now handles more than 500 buses at one time and approximately 3,000 buses and 250,000 passengers per day. Puratchi Thalaiyar Dr. MGR Bus Terminus encompasses 17,840 square feet (2,657 square meters) for a waiting facility for passengers; 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters) for a parking space for auto rickshaws, cabs, and private cars; and 16,000 square feet (1,500 square meters) for a parking space for two-wheelers. The facility also contains several supermarkets, shops, travel agency offices, eateries, hotels, and locker rooms. This bus terminus is the largest one in Asia.

For more information on the opening of Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (now officially known as Puratchi Thalaiyar Dr. MGR Bus Terminus), please check out the 19 November 2002 Hindu Business Line article “Jayalalithaa Inaugurates New Bus Terminus in Chennai” at https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-others/tp-states/article29006239.ece#

Additional information on this terminus is available at  http://www.cmdachennai.gov.in/chennai_mufussil_bus_terminus(cmbt).html.

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