VIJAYAWADA: Starting Thursday, passengers travelling in APSRTC buses will have to shell out more money to buy a ticket as the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has announced to impose diesel cess on different categories. The revised ticket fares would come into effect immediately.
APSRTC managing director Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the corporation has decided to levy Rs 2 to Rs 10 as diesel cess on bus ticket based on the services. The transport corporation had last revised ticket fares in December 2019.
Customers will have to pay Rs 2 extra for Palle Velugu service, Rs 5 for metro, express and Rs 10 for AC bus service. A minimum fare of Rs 15 has been fixed for Palle Velugu service, a hike of Rs 5. This includes diesel cess of Rs 2 and Rs 1 safety cess. The fare will then been rounded off to the nearest multiple of 5. Similar is the case for city buses.
Addressing the media along with APSRTC chairman A Mallikharjuna Reddy on Wednesday, Rao explained that the Corporation is not in a position to bear the burden caused due to the continuous rise in fuel prices. He clarified that the hike in ticket price is due to an imposition of diesel cess and that it has nothing to do with revising fares. Elaborating, Rao said despite incurring a loss of Rs 5,680 crore during March 2020-2022, the Corporation did not increase ticket price as people were already burdened with unexpected financial troubles due to the Covid pandemic.
“The situation is worse now. APSRTC is not in a position to keep up with the fuel prices, spare parts, lubricants, and other expenses, as they have gone up by an average of 40 per cent in comparison to 2020.”
“The fare hike has become inevitable with diesel price steadily rising since 2019. One litre diesel now costs Rs 107. The decision has been taken solely to bring the Corporation out of losses,” the managing director explained.
Urging the public to cooperate and understand the crisis, Rao hoped passengers will understand the grim situation. “The diesel cess we are levying is expected to fetch us only Rs 620 crore a year. If the corporation has to recover Rs 5,680-crore losses, we need to increase the ticket rates by 32 per cent. We have come up only with a marginal hike. The price hike is minimal and will not be a burden on people,” he opined.
Explaining the Rs 1 safety cess on Palle Velugu services, Rao said it is a new component where the revenue will be directed towards increasing amenities and safety standards for passengers as well as to repair roads and provide more services to villages. With the latest hike, the price of student bus passes might also go up, an official said.