Bengaluru

State government increases fares for stage carriage by 15%

KSRTC had to, among other things, suspend AC bus services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in loss of income.

KSRTC had to, among other things, suspend AC bus services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in loss of income.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

The State government has increased the fixed maximum rates for stage carriage by 15%. The decision has not gone down well with people who rely on buses to travel.

“It comes at a time when we are facing job loss and salary cuts due to the pandemic. The government should have been more sympathetic to our situation and delayed increasing rates,” said a regular bus commuter.

For buses plying in corporation limits, such as Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi and Mangaluru, it has fixed the rate of the first stage of 2 km at ₹8. For the second stage of 2 km, the rate is now ₹5.75, and ₹3.50 for subsequent stages.

One-and-a-half fares will apply for services operated between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., said a notification issued on July 29. High-end buses operated by State transport corporations have the discretion to fix the fares in city limits.

On other routes, for ordinary services, the minimum fare has been fixed at ₹9.50 for the first stage of 6.5 km, and thereafter ₹1 per km. For luxury or super deluxe coaches (buses with foam cushion and headrest), the government has fixed a minimum rate of ₹13 for the first stage of 6.5 km. Hi-tech carriages (seats with sleeping comfort) can charge ₹14 for the first stage of 6.5 km and ₹1.60 for subsequent km.

Anjum Parwez, principal secretary of Transport Department, said, “After a gap of seven years, the fares for stage carriages have been increased by 15%. The notification issued by the government applies for both State-run road transport corporations and private operators. The State government has fixed a maximum cap, and operators cannot charge more than the rates fixed by the government.”

Rates on weekend

To cater to the increased traffic during weekends and events, a provision has been made to charge two times the fares fixed. The notification states that private operators and State transport corporations have the discretion to fix rates for inter-city AC services.

Toll fees

In addition to the fares fixed, the government has allowed the operators to collect toll fees from passengers. The notification states that for the use of bus stations built at cost of ₹50 lakh or more, a surcharge not exceeding ₹1 per head can be collected.

Sadananda Chatra, general secretary, Karnataka Private Bus Owners’ Operators, said, “We have been demanding a revision of fare for over four years as fuel prices continue to rise. We are facing a lot of financial distress due to COVID-19. Our major demand of tax relaxation remains unfulfilled.”

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 8:19:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/state-government-increases-fares-for-stage-carriage-by-15/article32270986.ece

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