Student passes exempted; A/C bus fares remain same
In a jolt to commuters, APSRTC on Sunday increased the minimum fare for city ordinary buses from Rs.4 to Rs.5 and enhanced the cost of monthly bus passes by Rs.100.
The student general passes have been exempted from the hike which comes into effect from Monday.
While the minimum fare in Metro Express buses remains the same, authorities have increased the fare from second stage onwards in these buses. Interestingly, there is no hike in air-conditioned bus fares.
The fares were revised due to the recent hike in diesel prices to help cover some losses.
Rs. 144 crore loss
RTC suffered a loss of Rs.144 crore last year and about Rs.25 crore till August this year.
Everyday the Greater Hyderabad zone of RTC incurs a loss of Rs.30 lakh due to operational costs, poor seat occupancy ratio and other factors.
Ever since the diesel prices were increased, the zone is suffering additional loss of about Rs.12 lakh a day, explained Greater Hyderabad zone Executive Director A. Koteswara Rao.
“Despite losses, the minimum fare in ordinary buses is increased after eight years. Even after the revised fares, we would suffer losses to the tune of Rs.15 lakh everyday as the hike is not commensurate with difference in operational costs,” defends Mr. Rao.
In addition to increasing the bus fares, authorities have also escalated the cost of all bus passes by Rs.100.
As a result, the general bus pass that used to cost Rs.550 will now cost Rs.650, Express bus pass has been increased from Rs.650 to Rs.750 and the AC bus pass from Rs.850 to Rs.950.
Every month, RTC issues about 2 lakh passes, including general, express, deluxe and air-conditioned buses.
Authorities expect to generate additional revenue of Rs.2 crore per month by increasing the cost of bus passes.