TAMIL NADU

Volvo service fares in city may be cut

Special Correspondent

Idea is to make more people travel by these buses: Minister

BANGALORE: There is good news for those Bangaloreans who commute by Volvo buses. Transport Minister N. Cheluvaraya Swamy has announced that the Government is examining a proposal to reduce the fare for these luxury buses.

Mr. Cheluvaraya Swamy told presspersons here on Saturday that such a proposal was being considered to make more people travel by Volvo services.

At present, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation's (BMTC) fleet of Volvo buses is earning a revenue of Rs. 10 per km through advertisements put up on them while the revenue through the fare was only Rs. 4 per km. There were plans to allow advertisements inside these buses, he explained.

Revenue

The Government was earning a total revenue of Rs. 10 crore per year from its fleet of 160 Volvo buses, including those owned by KSRTC for long distance operations, he said. Meanwhile, following the slashing of diesel prices, the KSRTC is now examining whether it should reduce bus fares as well. Mr. Cheluvaraya Swamy said that an appropriate decision would be taken soon after discussions with officials.

Without elaborating, the Minister only said that the bus fares in Karnataka were the lowest in the country after Tamil Nadu.

Surplus amount

Sources in the Transport Department said as of now the Department was not in favour of reducing the fares. Instead, the surplus amount could be used for improving the services, especially those in the rural areas.

Sources told The Hindu that bus fares had been increased only several months after the diesel prices had been hiked. Besides, the percentage of fare hike was low as compared to percentage of increase in fuel prices, they argued. Hence, there was a strong argument from within the department to desist from reducing the fare.