CHENNAI: Five months after the launch of its new sleeper buses, the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) slashed the ticket fares of air-conditioned sleeper buses, non AC sleeper buses and Ultra classic (toilet) buses, by 10 percent .The revised fare which came into effect on Thursday, will be applicable for four days a week between Monday and Thursday. On an average , ticket fares come down by Rs 70 to Rs 140 per ticket across all the services.
According to V Baskaran, Managing Director of SETC, the ticket fares of AC sleeper bus have been reduced from Rs 2 to Rs 1.8 per km, during lean days of a week. “The commuters will be offered a fare discount between Monday and Thursday across the year except on festival days. The old fare will continue to be collected between Friday and Sunday,” added the official.
The fares of non AC sleeper bus are reduced from Rs 1.55 to Rs 1.45, while the Ultra classic (toilet) buses fare are reduced from Rs 1.15 to Rs 1.05 per km, for week days. The SETC operates 34 AC sleeper buses, two non AC sleeper buses, 10 ultra classic (toilet) buses and six AC sleeper cum seater buses, connecting various parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states. “In AC sleeper cum seater buses, fare cut will be applicable only for sleeper berths,” he added.
The move was a result of poor patronage for the new buses launched in July. Except during festival seasons, the long-distance buses have limited occupancy primarily due to higher ticket fares compared to private omni buses. It's learnt that SETC has had to cancel many AC bus services from Koyambedu bus stand frequently.
The AC sleeper buses connect Chennai with Madurai, Tirunelveli, Sivakasi, Bodi, Gobichettipalayam, Keezhkarai, Bengaluru, Salem, Ernakulam and Thoothukudi. In addition, Velankanni-Bengaluru and Nagercoil-Bengaluru, also have premium services. K Rajasekaran, a regular commuter from Bengaluru, has welcomed the move. “The third AC sleeper train fare from Chennai to Bengaluru is Rs620 and the omni buses charge Rs650 to Rs700,” he added.