The RTCs had upped fares on June 25 last year when the diesel price was increased by Rs. 3.99 to Rs. 45.39
Keeping up their tradition of giving nasty shocks to passengers, the four road transport corporations (RTCs) of the State added another one after a hiatus of a year and three months.
The RTCs had upped fares on June 25 last year when the diesel price was increased by Rs. 3.99 to Rs. 45.39. This time, the diesel price increase of Rs. 6.14, the RTCs claimed, was too much to sustain and, hence, the fare hike.
Sunil Kumar, a native of Bihar who is making a living in Bangalore as a construction worker, said the bus fare hike will eat into his earnings. “I used to spend Rs. 40 on a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) day pass: and now I have to pay Rs. 5 more. Some of my fellow workers who buy daily tickets are burdened even more.”
Jayanna, a BMTC conductor, said he got so fed up of trying to convince bus passengers that the fare had indeed been hiked he bought two Kannada dailies on Monday. Many commuters were not aware of the fare hike as it was decided overnight and only few publications had the news in the morning.
Those boarding the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses after midnight had to pay the increased fares. Kranthi Kumar, who boarded a Suvarna Karnataka Sarige (Express service) from Davangere, said he was surprised when the conductor asked him to pay about Rs. 15 more.
Though he confronted the conductor, he had to finally pay the increased fare. RTCs should give at least a day’s notice, Mr. Kumar said, and went on to criticise the powers-that-be which were “making the common man’s life miserable”.
The four corporations, KSRTC, North-West KRTC, North-East KRTC and BMTC, will have to bear a burden of about Rs. 900 crore on account of diesel price increase as well as the recent revision of wages of the employees, said a senior RTC official.
With little government support, the RTCs had no option but to increase the fares. Otherwise, they would not be able to augment their fleets, build bus stations and create other infrastructure, he said.
KSRTC said the financial burden from diesel price hike alone was Rs. 121.13 crore a year, and Rs. 79.69 crore for BMTC. The RTCs have reduced the student bus pass rates twice during the last four years. The government has to share half the student pass cost, and RTCs and students 25 per cent each. With the price cuts on these passes, the RTCs’ share had increased to 33 per cent with no corresponding increase in the government share. This had burdened the RTCs by another crore.
Hence, the three RTCs have increased the fares by 12 per cent and BMTC by 14.22 per cent. While KSRTC will get about Rs. 237 crore additional revenue against Rs. 305 crore additional expenditure, the BMTC will get about Rs. 186 crore against additional expenditure of Rs. 244 crore.
The revised monthly pass rates of BMTC will be applicable from November as the sale of passes for October had already commenced, Managing Director Anjum Parvez told The Hindu.