Public transport in City no longer inexpensive option

B'lore costlier than other metros in terms of transport fare
Last Updated 27 April 2014, 20:25 IST

Commuting in the City has become expensive and how. 

From rickety autorickshaws to the Namma Metro to the so-called poor man’s pick - BMTC buses - all have turned expensive. In the past five months, the hike in the fares of autos, Metro and buses has upset the average monthly budget of every Bangalorean, depending on his or her daily mode of public transport.

Post the hike in fares, the average spending on transport has shot up from Rs 1,500-2,000 to Rs 3,000-4,000 a month by an individual. In the case of families where both parents are working and have schoolgoing children, expenses have gone up even further.

While both BMTC and auto unions claim that the hike in fares was inevitable as the cost of fuel, diesel and auto LPG have gone up, citizens, even those with their own vehicles, are feeling the pinch. They claim that they have no choice left than to bear the additional financial burden every month without any hope.

Sample this: In the past four years, while the cost of diesel has gone up by 29.8 per cent, the hike in BMTC bus fares for Stage I has been 50 per cent and 71 per cent for Stage II. The cost of diesel in 2011 was Rs 46.21 a litre and the fare for Stage I (two km) was Rs 4 for non-AC bus. In 2014, the cost of diesel is Rs 60, while the fare is Rs 6 for Stage I.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Naresh V, a resident of Whitefield, who commutes from his house to his office in Majestic said, “Earlier, I used to travel to office by bike. But, with the frequent hike in price of petrol and the increasing traffic, I switched to autorickshaws. On an average, I would spend Rs 200-250 a day on autos.

 Subsequently, auto fares were hiked and I thought it was better to travel by AC buses. Now, BMTC fares are touching the roof. My savings have gone for a toss in the past few months. Why is this not an election issue? Politicians argue about non-issues during polls. Why don’t they address such issues which affect the common man?” he asked.

At present, Chennai and New Delhi are the metros with the cheapest fares of Rs 3 and Rs 5 respectively for Stage I, compared to Rs 6 in Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. Similarly, one has to pay Rs 25 in New Delhi for the first two km and Rs 11 each for subsequent kilometres in autorickshaws. In Bangalore, one pays Rs 25 for the first 1.9 km and Rs 13 each for subsequent kilometres.

For Namma Metro, the minimum fare is now Rs 10 and the fare after recent revision between Baiyyappanahalli and MG Road is Rs 17, while on the newly opened Swastik-Peenya line, it is Rs 23. In New Delhi, the minimum Metro fare is Rs 9.

(Published 27 April 2014, 20:25 IST)

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