Kerala

Kerala private bus operators unhappy with minimum fare hike

The operators of 12,500-odd private buses in Kerala are not happy with the proposal to increase the minimum bus fare from the existing ₹8 to ₹10.

The operators of 12,500-odd private buses in Kerala are not happy with the proposal to increase the minimum bus fare from the existing ₹8 to ₹10.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

They demand ₹12 as minimum fare

The operators of 12,500-odd private buses in the State are not happy with the proposal to increase the minimum bus fare from the existing ₹8 to ₹10 and a hike of ₹2 for every subsequent fare stage.

According to them, the ‘special Covid fares’ suggested by the M. Ramachandran Fare Revision Committee and recommended by the Transport Department to the government for approval is ‘insufficient’ to address the worst crisis faced by the private bus sector.

“It will not be possible for the operators to accept the recommendation,” says president of the Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation M.B. Sathyan.

Kerala private bus operators unhappy with minimum fare hike
 

Price of diesel

Besides the low patronage due to the pandemic and restrictions on travel, the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) has gone up by ₹10.45 in the last 10 days.

A stage carrier finds it difficult to make both ends meet with the revenue from the bus and needs an additional ₹900 for the 80 litres of HSD for daily operations now. Commuters are travelling on buses only in the morning and evening and hardly a dozen travelled in the remaining trips.

These aspects have not been factored in the fare hike, he says.

The dwindling private bus industry needs to be protected by the government and the minimum bus fare should be hiked from ₹8 to ₹12 and the per km fare to ₹1, says general secretary of the federation Lawrence Babu.

As the Fare Revision Committee has not recommended a fare hike per km, the principle of fare hike has been not implemented.

Mr. Babu says the concept of single fare stage should be implemented in the State.

The federation has appealed to the government to take into account the plight of the operators, hundreds of bus crew, their families, and associated sectors to make suitable changes in the recommendations of the committee for the survival of the industry.

Recommended

According to a government officials, the committee had recommended the hike in bus fares taking into account the loss suffered by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation due to physical-distancing norms and poor patronage following the pandemic, the hike in price of high speed diesel, and increase in tax and insurance for buses.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:38:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-private-bus-operators-unhappy-with-minimum-fare-hike/article31934104.ece

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