In light of growing protests over the recent bus fare hike, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that his department would approach the government with a proposal to seek subsidies for the state-run transport corporations.
Replying to questions on the sidelines of the launch of E-SMART project for North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), Reddy said, “We will request for subsidy from the State government during the pre- budget meeting on Wednesday. If that is accepted, we can reduce fares.”
He also announced that NWKRTC would soon commence town bus services in 10 cities. “KSRTC will also start town bus services in eight more cities as will NEKRTC,” he said.
Justifying the fare hike, Reddy said, “The hike was proposed in January itself. However, due to many reasons, the prices were not hiked. There has been a loss of `147 crore in BMTC in the past six months and the hike was inevitable.”
The E-SMART project is a management and administration solution which can be implemented electronically. It will provide users of NWKRTC buses services like a 24-hour toll-free number, online complaint registration system, a phone directory app, RFID based smart card passes and other benefits.