The Punjab Government has raised the bus fares by nearly 20 per cent with effect from Saturday in the wake of increase in diesel prices.

With the increase, the bus fares in the State went up from 66 paise per km to 79 paise per km. “The bus fare has been hiked by 13 paise per km and the new rate has been made effective from Saturday,” an official of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation said here.

The increase would help bus operators in cutting down operational losses, he said.

The fares, hiked after a gap of nearly two years, would be applicable to State-owned and private buses, the official said.

The State-owned Punjab Roadways and PRTC have a fleet of around 3,000 buses while private operators run nearly 3,800 buses across the State.

Private and State-owned operators have been demanding a hike in fares since the Centre raised the diesel price by Rs.5 per litre last month.

Private bus operators had sought a hike of 15 paise per km and PRTC and Punjab Roadways 22 paise per km.

Transporters had claimed that the increase in diesel rate would put an additional burden of Rs.1.80 lakh per bus a year. - PTI