Private bus operators not to collect enhanced fares for now

The Regional Transport Authority will soon hold meeting to consider the demand for fare hike

Deputy Commissioner and Chairman of the Regional Transport Authority K.V. Rajendra on Monday said that private city and service bus operators have to maintain status quo with regard to bus fares till the authority holds a meeting.

In a statement here, Dr. Rajendra said that a meeting with bus operators here decided to keep in abeyance the revised enhanced fares (by 25%) till the RTA holds a meeting likely this week. “They have agreed to go back to fares in operation before the lockdown,” he said.

Last week, responding to demands from operators to allow them collect 25% enhanced fares considering increased diesel price and the condition of 50% occupancy, the Deputy Commissioner had permitted it. However, he had put a rider saying that the enhanced fares could be collected either till normal occupancy was restored or the RTA meeting was held.

Canara Bus Owners Association president K. Rajavarma Ballal said that since the June 2020 fare hike, diesel price has increased considerably. It is difficult to operate buses with such collection as the cost per kilometre has gone up to ₹1.82. Whereas, the fares, even after the present 25% hike, comes to around ₹1.75 km, he said. Though the government has allowed operators to carry passengers to the sanctioned seating capacity, passengers cannot travel standing on buses, he noted.

The operators are expecting a notification from the State Transport Authority revising the fares upward, he added.

Meanwhile, city, service and express buses gradually came on to the roads on Monday with the State government relaxing conditions regarding operation. However, many private operators are yet to deploy their entire fleet on permitted routes for several reasons, including getting surrendered permits released from Regional Transport Offices and getting parked buses equipped for operation.

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