Increase in fares of ordinary services imminent?

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) on Sunday increased the fares of its premium Vajra (Volvo), AC Suvarna and Vayu Vajra (Bangalore International Airport Special) services ranging between Rs. 3 and Rs. 10.

In what appears to be a prelude to a general fare hike, BMTC in a release citing the recent diesel price hike and increase in the cost of other inputs, said that fares of its premium services are being increased as a first step.

It said that besides diesel, the prices of other inputs, including lubricants, tyres, tubes and spare parts, too have gone up.

Asked whether fares of ordinary bus services too would be increased, BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez told The Hindu that it was not immediately likely. He, however, did not rule it out completely.

Though BMTC is incurring operational losses on both ordinary and Vajra services, Mr. Parvez said that fares of premium services are being increased as an immediate step to prevent further loss.

He said that because of increased cost inputs, the corporation has decided to add only 950 new buses this financial year, including 110 Vajra coaches, against the original plan of 1,200 buses.

While the fares of AC Suvarna (Marcopolo) have been increased ranging between Rs. 3 and Rs. 6, that of Vajra and Carona have been increased by Rs. 5 and Rs. 10. However, fares in the first two stages (4 km) of Vajra and the first stage of Suvarna remain unchanged.

The minimum fare continues to be Rs. 10 on both these services and the maximum would be Rs. 100 on Vajra and Rs. 50 on Suvarna, the release said.

Vayu Vajra

Fares on Vayu Vajra too have been increased ranging between Rs. 15 and Rs. 30. Now, the minimum fare on Vayu Vajra is Rs. 150 (up from Rs. 130, from Hebbal, Kogilu and Yelahanka to BIAL) and the maximum is Rs. 230 (up from Rs. 200, from Kadugodi, Hope Farm and Whitefield to BIAL).

Rates of day passes on these premium services too have been increased by Rs. 10.

While Vajra Gold Pass would now cost Rs. 110, AC Suvarna day pass would cost Rs. 70.

The corporation has advised conductors to issue Rs. 10 ticket till new passes with revised rates are printed.

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