Kerala

RTC may not gain from fare hike

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will not stand to gain much from the fare hike announced by the government from March 1.

The minimum fare will be ₹8, and there will be an increase of six paise to 15 paise for the subsequent running km for eight classes of stage carriers plying in the State.

The KSRTC expects a daily increase of ₹25 lakh and the daily revenue will touch ₹7.5 crore after the fare hike. The ₹25 lakh would bring only minor relief as the fuel bill would go up to ₹3.19 crore daily due to daily dynamic pricing, a top KSRTC official told The Hindu .

High-speed diesel

The price of high speed diesel has gone up by ₹7 a litre in 45 days. The KSRTC needs 4.7 lakh litres of diesel daily for operating its schedules. Even an increase of ₹1 a litre will put the Corporation in crisis as it will have to find additional ₹4.7 lakh for the fuel bill.

The KSRTC owes oil companies ₹126 crore for the fuel it had used for its fleet. With the Supreme Court verdict coming out against the transport utility on the bulk consumer status, the KSRTC has to pay another ₹52 crore to oil companies.

The monthly revenue-expenditure gap has gone up to ₹173 crore.

Only a reduction in the price of diesel will bring some relief to the KSRTC, the official said.

Shift to trains

Long distance commuters are the backbone of KSRTC and the fare hike will wean them away to trains which are cheaper. While train journey from the State capital via Kottayam and Alappuzha to Ernakulam will cost only ₹80 and ₹75 respectively, a ride in the super fast bus of the KSRTC is ₹178 and ₹177 respectively. KSRTC officials fear that the fares will go up further and commuters will shift to trains.

The KSRTC buses will also face stiff competition from the 14,500 private buses plying in the State.

The KSRTC collects an insurance cess for all tickets above ₹15. Taking the insurance cess being collected along with the fare into account, the long distance fares in the KSRTC will be costlier by ₹10 when compared to private bus fares.

In cities, three persons sharing an autorickshaw for a minimum distance (₹20) will be cheaper than travelling in buses of KSRTC and private operators that will have a minimum fare of ₹8 after the hike.


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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 11:49:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-may-not-gain-from-fare-hike/article22764435.ece