The state government is considering hiking bus fares from February 1. Free rides will be ensured for students from BPL families. However, the concession fare for other students will be increased to Rs 5.
Sources said that the Chief Minister had approved the recommendations of the Transport Department regarding the hike in bus fares. Following this, it was decided to implement the hike in bus fares from next month. Transport Minister Antony Raju will hold talks with the bus owners once again. The final decision regarding the hike will be taken after this meeting.
The minimum fare for a distance of 2.5 km will be increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10. With this, a passenger will have to pay Rs 1 per kilometre. The subsequent rate hike will be proportional to this. However, the government will not accept the demand of private bus owners to increase the minimum fare to Rs 12. Instead, ticket rates for night travel will be increased. There will be a 50 percent hike in fares for night rides between 8 pm and morning 5 am.
At present, students are paying Rs 1 for 1.5 km and Rs 2 for 5 km. The Transport Department is of the opinion that there is no need for further discussion with the students.
Earlier, private bus owners had postponed their strike following the Transport Minister’s promise to increase bus fares after Makaravilakku.