Bus fares gallop ahead of long weekend

Bus fares gallop ahead  of long weekend

As the festive season nears, scrambling to secure a berth in train or a seat in bus has already begun.

Even as the railways and the KSRTC are running additional services, nothing seems to be adequate enough.

Private bus operators are making a fast buck as last-minute passengers have no choice but pay up more. Some private operators have already hiked fares by 100 per cent for departures on Wednesday and Thursday as all government buses and trains are pre-booked.

While KSRTC, NEKRTC, NWKRTC have as per practice hiked the fares by 10 per cent, it’s the private bus operators who have increased them multiple times with nobody to keep tabs on them. The fare difference between private buses and State-run buses is in the range of Rs 300 to Rs 1,000.

For instance, travel by a private Volvo multi-axle service to Hubballi would cost between Rs 1,100 and Rs 3,500, whereas the same by KSRTC Volvo multi-axle bus would be Rs 836. For Mangaluru, the fares are between Rs 1,100 and Rs 2,000 for private buses and Rs 898 in KSRTC Volvo multi-axle buses.

The holidays start on Thursday with Ayudh Puja, followed by Vijayadashami on Friday, tenth day of Moharram on Saturday, Sunday. If one takes a leave on Monday, Tuesday is Valmiki Jayanti - a government holiday. All these make it a very long weekend ahead. The KSRTC has planned to ply 1,500 extra buses. A senior official of KSRTC said they charge a minimum extra fare of 10 per cent and that too only for special buses as they ply almost empty on the return trip.

Private operators say this is the peak time when they do brisk business to get back returns on the investments. One of the operators in the city said during the non-peak season, they are forced to sell tickets at much cheaper rates so as to sustain operations. This is the only time they can make profit, he said.

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