Decision to be made after consulting authorities of neighbouring districts

The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has decided to fix new fares for private buses. The amount will be fixed after a discussion with the Regional Transport Authority of the neighbouring districts.

Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju addressing a RTA meeting here on Thursday said the Canara Bus Owners Association (CBOA) was demanding a 15 per cent increase in bus fares. The organisations representing interests of passengers had indicated that they were not averse to a slight increase. But a final decision could be taken only after consulting the RTAs of neighbouring districts.

There had been many complaints from passengers about the misbehaviour of bus drivers and conductors. It was incumbent upon the CBOA to action against the erring drivers and conductors, he said.

Padmanabh Bhat, a resident of Brahmavar, said the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses from Udupi to Brahmavar charged Rs. 12 per passenger, while private buses charged Rs. 14.

Fares charged in Kerala and Tamil Nadu too were less than those charged by private buses here.

If private bus owners did not agree to charge reasonable fares, KSRTC buses should be introduced in the district. The State government should consider giving tax concession on the diesel used for public transport, he said. Uniforms with nametags should be made compulsory for private bus drivers and conductors, he said.

President of CBOA Rajavarma Ballal said that an increase in the prices of diesel, tyres, and other spare parts had rendered a 15 per cent increase in bus fares inevitable.

Vice-president of CBOA Sadananda Chatra said the KSRTC had increased the bus fares in the first four stages by 20 per cent.

Convener of Udupi Consumers’ Forum K. Damodar Aithal said that some private buses were charging increased bus fares already, which was unacceptable. Bus conductors should increase the fares only after the RTA decided on it, he said.

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