BMTC hikes bus fares by 16 pc

Volvo, students' concessional pass rates unchanged

BMTC hikes bus fares by 16 pc

Frequent hikes in diesel prices and an increase in other operational costs have forced the State-run Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to increase fare by 16 per cent with immediate effect.

The revision in fares is only for the non-AC services, an official said. Rates for concessional passes for student also remain untouched.

“Hikes in the high speed diesel price since January 18 and release of dearness allo­w­a­nce and house rent allowance to the employees have resulted in severe financial burden on the corporation,” an official said.

BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez said the corporation lost about Rs 147 crore due to these additional expenditure. “The 16 per cent increase in fares will fetch us a revenue of Rs 114 crore,” he said. Another official said for stages one and two, the hike was Re 1, while the fares for st­ages three to seven were hiked by Rs 2. There will be an inc­r­e­ase of Rs 3 for stages eight to 24. Similarly, Karnataka State Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation  increased the fares by 10.5 per cent each.

Students spared

However, students’ concessional passes have been spared. A senior KSRTC official said Volvo fares will not be touched, but it will be subject to market dynamics.
“If private operators decide to increase their rates then we will also be forced to hike the prices,” he said.

“To meet the increased cost, the revenues of the corporation have to be increased by 10.5 per cent.

The fares for different category of services are appropriately revised such that the burden to the ordinary services is kept minimum,” a senior KSRTC official said.  
A KSRTC release said the increase in fare will see an additional revenue mobilisation of an estimated Rs 186.72 crore per annum.

An official explained that the overall increase in operational cost due to hikes in diesel price and the government’s decision to increase the dearness allowance payable to employees is Rs 222.68 crore per annum.

“Therefore, even with an additional revenue of Rs 186.72 crore, we will have a shortfall of Rs 35.96 crore per annum, which will be mobilised by improving the efficiency of operation,” he said.

Being a government-run organisation, the corporation incurs several costs in order to provide facilities to a cross-section of the people.

“One-third of our services operate in rural areas. Apart from this, free bus passes/concessional passes/ concession in travel are also provided to the students, physically challenged, blind persons, freedom fighters and senior citizens, all of which add to the cost,” he said.

“From January 1, 2013, price of high speed diesel has been increased by Rs 0.12 per litre and further from January 17 by Rs 11.95 for bulk purchasers, thereby there was an increase of 24.03 per cent. There was levy of higher rate for fuel to bulk purchasers. Hence, KSRTC was forced to purchase fuel from retail outlets,” the release said.

Financial burden on the corporation due to fuel price hike alone was around Rs 120.10 crore per annum.

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