Tamil Nadu Government Increases Bus Fares, Commuters Demand Rollback

CNN-News18
The minimum hike is 20% and the maximum hike is over 54%. After fare hike, a bus fare of Rs 3 will now be Rs 6 and this is the minimum. For Volvo buses, a Rs 33 ticket will now be Rs 51.

Chennai: The Edappadi K Palaniswami government has revised bus fares with effect from Saturday. This comes more than a week after the transport unions in Tamil Nadu called off their protest after the government promised to pay 2.44 times wage hike for the employees.

The minimum hike is 20% and the maximum hike is over 54%. After the hike, the minimum fare of Rs 3 is now Rs 6. For Volvo buses, a Rs 33 ticket will now cost Rs 51.

The State Government attributed the revision to various factors including a hike in diesel price, the increased cost of new buses and spare parts and the wage hike for transport unions.

The government also added that fares after revision would still be cheaper as compared with neighbouring of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala which have revised the fares eight times in 16 years.

Commuters who depend on the public mode of transportation say the State Govt should rollback the announcement. A wage labourer, who takes a bus from T Nagar depot said: " It is too difficult for me to spend more to commute. I don't earn much and the hike will make it more difficult for me to make ends meet."

Another commuter added: "Even during the strike, most of us were stranded as other modes of commuting were expensive. Now, with the bus fare revision, share auto rates may well be cheaper. We urge the Chief Minister to roll back the fare hike. We can't pay double the ticket price for commuting on a regular basis."

This is the second time, in last 17 years, that bus fares have been increased. Last time, the Tamil Nadu Government, increased the fare was on November 18, 2011, when the then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa cited the increase in diesel price for the revision of bus fares.