Tiruchirapalli

Extended weekend woes: bus tariff of private operators goes through the roof

Travellers opt for services run by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation

Weekend travel by road just got more expensive.

Reason: dynamic pricing for three days of holidays from Saturday to Monday.

Many prospective travellers blame the heavy tariff charged by private operators to inadequacy of special services run by government-owned Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC).

Some have baulked at the exorbitant cost of tickets and cancelled their travel plans.

M. Manikandan, an IT professional, for instance. He had plans to travel to Chennai for the extended weekend. However, he quickly changed his mind after seeing the price of the ticket for the overnight journey.

“I live in Tiruchi alone and planned to spend three days in Chennai with my family. However, the tariff of private buses is upwards of ₹1,500 for a one-way trip, while TNSTC and SETC are overbooked. Officials claim they are operating special buses, but the tickets have to be booked at the counter. It is too much of a hassle,” he says.

Since Tiruchi has only limited rail services to Bangalore, Vijayawada and Cochin, and airfares being unaffordable, a large number of travellers bound for destinations in southern States have to rely on bus services.

Meanwhile, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which operates out of Central Bus Stand, has more takers than SETC buses for travel to Bangalore, Salem, Kumbakonam and even Thanjavur.

“The KSRTC buses have AC sleeper and even AC semi-sleeper options for prices lower than SETC services. Besides, the SETC drivers are selling tickets last minute to make more money,” says L. Rashmi of Tiruchi, who studies in Bengaluru.

“Also, they are better maintained and more punctual. They even drop us at our request if the location is on the way,” she adds.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 5:36:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/extended-weekend-woes-bus-tariff-of-private-operators-goes-through-the-roof/article29316635.ece

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