Bus fares in Bangalore will go up by an average of 15 per cent from Friday. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation managing director Anjum Parvez told reporters the hike was necessary to offset losses of about `280 crore.
“With this fare hike, we hope to recover about `235 crore. We will make up the remaining `45-50 crore by improving our efficiency,” he said. The minimum fare for non-AC services has been raised from `5 to `6. The fares for stages two and three have been raised by `2.
Parvez explained the numbers: “A loss of `140 crore was carried forward from 2012-13. In 2013-14, our revenue growth matched our expenditure and there was no loss. However, for 2014-15, we expect an additional expenditure of `145 crore. This, with the previous losses, brings us to `280 crore.”
He said the fares could vary a little through the stages as they had been rounded off.
Officials were waiting for the elections in Karnataka to be done before announcing the hike. The previous fare hike in October 2013 faced much criticism as it came after a 16 per cent hike in June.
Expecting protests, the BMTC had kept Friday’s fare hike under wraps till the last moment. Members of the Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike said the hike was unjustified and anti-people.
“BMTC is already the costliest public bus transport system in India....Yet, it is increasing fares and talking about losses. We want a CAG audit,” said Vinay Srinivas, a member of the group.
He added that the state government should stop its discriminatory attitude towards the BMTC. “They subsidise Namma Metro and even private vehicles by building flyovers. They must do the same for BMTC,” he said.
The cost of passes have been hiked as well. A daily pass with identity has been increased from `55 to `65 and one without identity will now cost `70. A gold day pass will cost `140, A/C Suvarna daily pass `95, monthly gold pass `70 and dedicated premium monthly pass `60.
The revised fares for monthly passes will come into effect on May 1.