Unmindful of the ongoing special drive against private buses, many operators continue to issue tickets to individual passengers this festive season.
Though the Transport Department seized over 300 private buses and sealed many unauthorised ticket issuing counters till Friday, many operators and agents issued tickets at exorbitant prices to passengers.
Cashing in on the demand, a few of them charged Rs. 1,600 to Rs.1,800 for a Visakhapatnam-bound air-conditioned bus, against the regular fare of Rs.1,100 per head.
“Over 60 per cent of our ticket sales are generated online and it is tough for passengers, if online booking is banned.
“Given the toll gates across different routes and diesel price hike, there is no option but to increase fares,” admits a member of Private Bus Owners Association of AP.
Holiday rush on
With a series of holidays commencing from Saturday, many people set off for their respective hometowns on Friday. Railway and bus stations teemed with passengers.
South Central Railway is operating 43 special trains, including 36 special trains from the city (12 for Kakinada, 12 for Visakhapatnam,10 for Vijayawada and two for Gudur ) and seven specials between Tirupati and Aurangabad, to meet the passenger rush.
Special RTC services
APSRTC too is operating over 4,000 special buses from Hyderabad to different districts. However, passengers are forced to shell out 50 per cent extra fare for travelling in these buses.
With most private buses seized by the Transport Department, there is considerable shift towards RTC buses.
As a result, 1,600 special buses were operated on Friday from MGBS to different districts, an RTC official.