Small increase, big impact

price Hike

Not surprisingly, the hike in the fares of the BMTC buses has hit the City’s student and lower-middle class communities quite hard.

Major difference: The rise in BMTC bus fare has affected regular commuters. DH Photo by Janardhan B K

While students claim that they have to allocate a large portion of their pocket money for transport, professionals and families admit that they have to alter household budgets to make room for this hike.

The problem is only worsened when buses are delayed — forcing them to pay up for other means of transport.

Metrolife interacts with a few Bangaloreans to find out how much of a difference this price increase had made in their lives.

C Nagaraj, chief traffic manager, BMTC, points out that the fares have been increased to meet the increasing prices of fuel and demand for higher salaries by the
employees.

“The revised fares will bring an additional traffic revenue of Rs 185.88 crore, which comes to an increase of 14.22 per cent on the existing traffic revenue.

We are aware that there has been a steady hike in fares over the last three years but the price of diesel has also increased in the same manner. It is difficult to meet the difference without a hike in fares,” explains Nagaraj.

He adds that despite the hike in fares, a revenue gap of Rs 58.14 crore still exists.
“We have to chalk out measures to meet the difference in cost,” he reasons.  

The ordinary people say that the rise in fares has definitely made a difference to their budgets.

Alvin James R, a third-semester BBM student, says that he has to travel from Indiranagar to his college in Kasturinagar everyday.

“The increase has affected my travel budget. My parents are forced to give me more money and they are not too happy doing so. The old fares fit our budget perfectly well,” says Alvin.

Prabhakar Reddy, a second-year MBA student of New Horizon College, feels that he has had to give up on certain luxuries to accommodate the increase in fares.

  “Most of my pocket money goes in travel expenses, leaving very little for other interests. Weekend outings and activities after college are now restricted and I can’t ask my parents for more money,” he notes.

Solita Clarabel, a final-year BBM student, has a point when she says that buses are considered to be the most affordable mode of transport — because of which, increasing the fares is an unrealistic decision.

“Not only is it expensive to travel by buses but the delay in their arrival sometimes forces us to opt for other means of transport like cabs and Volvos. This just makes travelling more expensive,” she says.

Gowramma, who works as a peon in a company, says that her salary will not increase
in keeping with the hike in fares.

 “My family and I manage on a shoe-string budget. I can’t think of travelling by any means of transport other than a bus. The hike may look marginal, but the overall increase is quite a bit. It has made a significant difference to my household budget,”
concludes Gowramma.

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