THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Starting March 1, the fares for private and KSRTC buses in the state are scheduled to go up. The Cabinet nod on Wednesday to hike the fares came in the wake of Tuesday’s LDF meet okaying the proposal. With this, the minimum charge is slated to rise to Rs 8 from the present Rs 7. Though the minimum charge for students has been left untouched, there will be a 25 per cent hike in the fares above the minimum charge for students also.
But this proportionate increase will not be applicable upto 50 paise. Under the revised fares, students will have to pay an additional sum of only Rs 1 for travel upto 40 km, the government said. Crucially, the recommendation to fix a minimum age for students to become eligible for the students’ concession was rejected by the Cabinet.
The government on Wednesday said it had also considered the recommendations of the Justice Ramachandran Nair Committee which studied the demand for a hike in the fares. For ordinary/city and city fast, the minimum fare has gone up from Rs 7 to Rs 8; for fast passenger from Rs 10 to Rs 11 and for superfast from Rs 13 to Rs 15. The minimum fare has shot up from Rs 20 to Rs 22 for super express and from Rs 28 to Rs 30 for super deluxe/semi-sleeper. Hi-tech/AC Luxury fare has gone up from Rs 40 to Rs 44 and Volvo fares from Rs 40 to Rs 45.
KSRTC coffers to get Rs 7 crore more
T’Puram: The bus fare hike is likely to increase cash-strapped KSRTC’s monthly revenue by about Rs 7 crore. On an average, the state transporter’s monthly revenue comes to Rs 160 crore, with the monthly expenses costing the corporation Rs 315 crore. “The marginal hike will benefit the KSRTC.” said M G Rahul, Kerala State Road Transport Employees’ Association general secretary. He said the steep fare hikes effected in the past had alienated commuters. S D Sreenivasan, who worked as KSRTC superintendent, said extra revenue could have tripled had KSRTC continued with the old rate. “KSRTC lost out to trains and other bus services on account of fare hikes,” he said. As per a study, KSRTC lost over 1.5 lakh passengers to private vehicles over the years.
Private bus strike from tomorrow
Kochi: Private bus operators will launch an indefinite strike from Friday demanding a hike in bus fares, students’ concession included. The move comes despite the Cabinet nod for a marginal hike, with the minimum fare scheduled to go up to Rs 8. The private bus owners’ association has demanded the minimum fare should be increased to Rs 10 and the minimum concession rate to Rs 5. The Private Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee said considering the steep hike in diesel and spare parts prices, they will not be able to run services at the minimum rate of Rs 8. They also demanded the concession rates for students above the minimum charge should be 50 per cent of the ticket charge.