BENGALURU: The state government is likely to announce a marginal reduction in bus fares on Wednesday.A meeting on Tuesday, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, decided to cut fares in response to the fall in the price of diesel. Officials of the Finance Department and representatives of various state transport corporations attended the meeting.
Although sources put the reduction at between 3 and 5 per cent, the exact numbers will be known only on Wednesday after the government issues an order. The reduction will apply to all four government-run transport corporations. The corporations had been opposing the idea of a fare cut, citing slim margins and financial difficulties.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, after opposing the reduction, eventually caved in to citizens’ demands and approached the Finance Department.
The corporations aren’t greatly profitable: KSRTC shows a balance of `5.05 crore, while the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation shows a negative balance of `3.20 crore. Their counterparts in the northern districts aren’t doing any better. NWKRTC holds `3.18 crore in its account, and NEKRTC has a similarly modest `3.27 crore.
Together, the corporations will have `8.30 crore left after their fuel savings are matched against the projected expenditure for this financial year.
Expenditure cited by the corporations covers payment towards dearness allowance and stipends, as well as purchase of raincoats for employees.
Reddy and senior corporation officials were not available for comment.