Kerala Allows Public Transport with Restrictions, Increased Fare

The Kerala Government on Monday decided to allow public transport in a restricted manner with an increased travel fare to compensate the shortage of passengers due to implementation of social distancing norms in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport Minister A K Saseendran said initially public transport will be allowed only for intra-district services but hotspots will be avoided.

Public transportation was stopped in the state on March 24 when the national lockdown was declared to contain the spread of COVID-19. "We will open the public transport system in a restricted manner. Initially, the bus services will be allowed within the district. Services will not operate to hotspots.

There will be an increase in the minimum charge," the Minister said. He also said that the services will be only as per the guidelines issued by the centre. "With the present guidelines issued by the centre, we will assess the situation and decide upon the inter-district and inter-state services," he said.

Saseendran also said Kerala preferred train services over inter-state bus services. "For inter-state, Kerala prefers trains over bus services.Few trains are better than around 250 buses," he added.

The centre has issued guidelines easing certain restrictions even as it extended the lockdown till May 31.