CHENNAI: Travelling in omni buses is set to burn a hole in commuters' pockets following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The bus fare is to be increased from Rs 1.60 to Rs 3.20 per km, said the Tamil Nadu Omni Bus Owners Association (TOBOA).
A Afzal, President of TOBOA, said the buses are allowed to carry less than 50 per cent of their actual capacity to ensure social distancing, hence the fare hike is inevitable.
The bus fare would be increased for semi sleeper and non AC sleeper buses. A decision on operating AC buses is yet to be taken.
Currently commuters are charged Rs. 720 a ticket fo a semi sleeper class for travelling 450 km between Chennai and Madurai.
The fare would be hiked to Rs 1440, once bus services resume post or during the lockdown, said bus operators.
Stating that bus operators incurred huge losses during the lockdown, the operators said fare hike is not surprising given that operational costs remain high.
The maintenance cost has also doubled as the government guidelines stipulate that buses are to be cleaned using disinfectant for every single trip, added bus operators.