January 19, 2018
Tamil Nadu government on Friday increased the bus fares of state run transport corporation bus services and private buses steeply with hike ranging from 20 per cent to 54.54 per cent.
From tomorrow, travelling in buses and commuting within cities will become expensive.
The last time this kind of an unpopular decision was taken by the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa who had hiked bus fares and milk prices that many thought would become unpopular and hurt her electorally. The last bus fare hike in Tamil Nadu took place six years ago.
According to a government press release, the fares for all categories of buses – moffusil, city, ordinary, express, deluxe, bypass-non-stop, ultra-deluxe, air-conditioned and Volvo modes – will be higher from tomorrow.
The lowest hike in fare of Rs 5 for 10 km in mofussil buses would now be Rs 6 (20 per cent hike), the highest is in Volvo buses, where the present fare of Rs 33 for 30 km will now go up to Rs 51 (54.54 per cent hike).
Citing steep hike in input costs like fuel price and maintenance expenses, annual increment in salaries, pensions and fleet augmentation, the government said it became necessary to increase fares to recover some of the losses.
The government said it was in November 2011 that the bus fares were hiked by Jayalalithaa when diesel cost Rs 43.10. Now the diesel price hovers over Rs 65 per litre. Even after the hike the fares in Tamil Nadu are lesser compared to those prevalent in neighbouring states.
The Madras High Court too had noted the government submission in transport related case that the bus fare appeared to be inadequate to meet even the operational costs. This may give the government some strength and courage to explain to the people why they should pay more to commute to work and for their daily needs.