Published On: Mon, Jun 12th, 2017

Bus fare hike in July

Bus fares are likely to increase by 6-7 per cent in July while the minimum fare will increase from Rs 9 to Rs 10, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne told Ceylon Today.

He said, according to rough calculations the annual bus fare revision is due in July in terms of the provisions of the National Bus Fare Policy.

Wijeratne told Ceylon Today that although the price of diesel was not increased, other expenses relating to bus maintenance and interest on loans obtained had surged along with few other factors, hence the bus fare hike is essential.

“According to the National Bus Fare Policy, the annual bus fare revision is to take place in July every year and it has considered 12 factors that affect bus fares. Diesel is only one factor. Other factors include interest rate, price of spare parts, price of tyres and few others. I feel, the price of such factors affecting bus fares has gone up. As a result of that the bus fares are most likely to go up,” he noted.

Wijeratne however added, there is a dire need to implement a new bus fare policy as the existing policy has many shortcomings.

He said, NTC is obliged to conduct passenger surveys prior revising the bus fare every year, but not a single passenger survey was conducted by the NTC to get the opinion of commuters.

“It is the passengers who pay bus fare. Hence, it is the duty of the Government to assess the expectation of passengers in terms of price comfort and other factors,” he added.

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