Toll charges on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway will not just affect private vehicle commuters, but also those using public transport. Starting Tuesday, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) hiked the ticket prices for all buses plying on the expressway. The hike will also reflect in the tickets of EV and Volvo KSRTC buses using the expressway.
The toll user fee charges will be ₹15 per passenger for nonstop express buses, ₹18 for Rajahamsa buses, and ₹20 per passenger for Airavat/EV+/MultiAxle/Sleeper services, said a KSRTC release.
“This hike has only been done to recover toll charges. Paying tolls is not a problem for us as we regularly do it everywhere, considering we even have interstate services. But since this one is slightly higher, it will also be reflected in the ticket prices,” said Anbu Kumar, Managing Director, KSRTC.
For buses, the toll charge for a single journey is ₹460 and for a return journey within a day, it is ₹690. Monthly passes can be obtained for ₹15,325.
Private buses to follow suit?
Not just KSRTC, but even private bus operators are mulling an increase in ticket prices. “We do not want to decide hastily and hence we will have a meeting this weekend and then decide the prices. Our only request to the government is to ready the service road if they are going to continue collecting toll on the expressway,” said Nataraj Sharma, a private bus operator.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) passengers will face no additional burden as the buses will not take the expressway. However, on the first day of toll collection, some BMTC buses ended up on the expressway and argued with the toll collectors. “That was just first day confusion. But we will not be using the expressway henceforth. Regarding the condition of the service road, we have intimated the authorities concerned,” said a BMTC official.
Taxis say customers’ choice
With private taxis, the choice is with the customers to pay the toll or not. “If the customer wants to save time and suggests that we take the expressway, then we do that and if they do not want to spend the extra rupees, we take the service road,” said Suresh, a cab driver.