Bus tickets cost 20% more since today
13 December 2010
About that the Minister of Transport Anil Bachoo said on the press briefing on Friday. According to him the calculation was done by a technical committee and the bus tickets will cost 20% more expensive on Monday and this increase applies “across the board.” Adults pay Rs 2-6 more expensive depending on the route, for children increases differ between Rs 1 and Rs 3 for students and between Rs 2 and Rs 4. This raise in tickets price means a burden of Rs 310 million to the government.
“The government will have to pay Rs 85 million extra for staff and Rs 225 million for free transport,” he added. “The students, seniors and those working in the private sector and parastatal bodies have no problem because it's their company that will reimburse them. They are only 25% to 30% of the population will be affected. If we want to modernize the transportation system in the country, it has no choice but to increase the bus ticket,” said Anil Bachoo. On the subject of the National Transport Corporation (NTC), Anil Bachoo underlined that there are a lot of problems with the NTC. “We are doing everything possible to put the company back on track.”
“NTC soon will have 45 new buses. Next year we will purchase 150 new buses,” said the minister. At the end of the year, the National Transport Authority (NTA) will pay total Rs 16 million to compensate the sum it owes to the bus companies. This payment excludes money paid each month to bus operators who is in the transport free system. The government agreed to grant a sum of Rs 900 per month for bus owners.
Dhoop Gowreesunker, president of Bus Owners Co-operative Federation (BOCF), express redress for this raise of 20%. He stressed out that the bus owners demanded Rs 3000 for the elderly but that the government has owed Rs 900 per month per bus. The country has a fleet of 1,850 buses. A simple estimate shows that in 10 months the NTA will have to pay Rs 16.65 million.
The last bus tickets price raise was in May 2008 and it had been about 28% while 40% was asked for operators, said the Minister of Transport. “When we had raised tariffs in 2008, revenues had not increased by 28% but 18%. Several factors explain this. We had transport illegal and the government had maintained the compensation to operators of diesel buses. If we had not given this increase, the price of bus ticket would have increased by 65%”, said Anil Bachoo. “This compensation, we had been paid through the bus recovery account. When we had decided to increase the bus ticket by 28%, we calculated the price of diesel at Rs 25 per liter whereas it was Rs 40. There was a difference of Rs 15. In 2009, there were no fare increases despite several requests. Since 2008, there have been compensation and pay the bus operators were facing many difficulties.”