Travel by Delhi Transport Corporation and Blueline buses in the Capital will soon become costlier with the Delhi Cabinet on Monday approving of an all-round increase in fares.

The minimum fare for travel by non-air-conditioned buses has been increased from Rs.3 to Rs.5 for up to 3 km. Travel up to 10 km will cost Rs.10, while beyond that commuters will have to spend Rs.15 per trip.

While the increase in fares has come after almost seven years -- the last revisions were made in October 1999, December 1999 and May 2002 and a marginal revision was effected in June 2007 -- the cost of students’ bus pass which has remained constant at Rs.12.50 per month for the past 55 years has now been increased eight-fold to Rs.100.

The fare hike comes a year after the DTC, which runs the largest fleet of eco-friendly CNG buses in the world, posted a loss of Rs.1,222 crore in 2007-08. With its accumulated losses exceeding Rs.6,000 crore, the DTC had sought a 50 per cent increase in fares. It was also incurring a loss of Rs.150 crore annually on concessional passes.

Defending the increase in fares, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: “The citizens are being offered a clean and modern transport system and the fleet of low-floor buses is being increased to 5,000. So we have decided to increase the fares to cover a portion of the cost.’’

Ms. Dikshit said the DTC had been striving hard to augment its city transport fleet for which a huge capital investment was required. Besides, she said, it had also implemented recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission that have resulted in a substantial burden on its finances. With the operational cost also increasing by the day, she said it had become necessary to enhance the fares so that at least a portion of the losses could be taken care of.

The Chief Minister said travel by air-conditioned low-floor buses would now cost Rs.10 for a journey up to 3 km, Rs.15 between 3 km and 10 km, and Rs.25 for more than 10 km. The new fares for non-AC Greenline buses, Railway specials, limited services and night services will be Rs.15, while for all AC services it would be Rs.25. For journey by AC airport service, commuters would have to shell out Rs.75 whereas in non-AC airport service the fare would be Rs.50.

Monthly passes for senior citizens and journalists have been spared a hike.

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