Tamil Nadu government reduces bus fares marginally

OUR BUREAU Chennai | Updated on January 28, 2018

The Tamil Nadu government says it operates 21,928 buses when compared with 11,692 buses by Andhra Pradesh, 8,125 buses in Karnataka, and 6,400 buses by Kerala   -  THE HINDU

The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced a partial rollback of bus fares that will come into effect on Monday, January 29.

The fare revision comes after massive protests and oppositions to the steep hike in bus fares on January 20.

Revised structure

Under the revised structure, the minimum bus fare in MTC (Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses will be ₹4, down from ₹5 and the maximum fare has been set at ₹22 down from ₹23, according to an official statement.

For mofussil buses, per kilometre (km) fare in ordinary services has been reduced to 58 paise from 60 paise earlier. In express, deluxe and ultra-deluxe services, the per km charge has been slashed to 75 paise (from 80 paise), 85 paise (90 paise) and ₹1 (₹1.10) respectively. For air-conditioned buses, the charge will come down to ₹1.30 paise per km from ₹1.40 paise.

Incurring losses

Due to this partial roll-back of fares, the state transport undertakings (STUs) are expected to incur a loss of ₹4 crore per day. Before this revision, STUs were reported to be making losses of ₹2 crore per day (this is even after the recent huge hike). The State government pointed out that the January bus fare hike, which came after seven years, was inevitable as STUs were incurring losses of about ₹9 crore a day due to various factors that include an increase in diesel prices, additional burden due to salary hike for transport staff, pension dues and rise in the prices of buses.

Still lower

It also highlighted that bus fares in Tamil Nadu were still lower when compared with the rates in the neighbouring States. Tamil Nadu was operating 21,928 buses when compared with 11,692 buses in Andhra Pradesh, 8,125 buses in Karnataka, and 6,400 buses in Kerala.

The transport corporations in Tamil Nadu have a combined workforce of 140,615 and about 2.02 crore commuters are estimated to use the bus services of the state government every day.

Published on January 28, 2018

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