Fare hike leaves low-floors vacant in Kochi

For commuters in cities like Ernakulam, with sufficient private buses operating, the low-floor Volvo buses run by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) are a luxury post the recent fare hike.

The buses are witnessing a drop in commuters as reflected in the daily collections. The average daily collection on city services has dipped to Rs 20-25,000 per AC low-floor bus against the earlier Rs 25-30,000. In the non-AC category the dip is about Rs 3000 from the average Rs 25,000 earlier.

“In the non-AC buses, we have lost the Rs 6 and Rs 7 ticket travellers. However, this has not affected the long-distance AC low-floor buses which continue to bring in commuters. Also, the collection in city services in Thiruvananthapuram has not been affected,” a senior official said.

The KSRTC has hiked the minimum charges of the AC and non-AC low- floor buses, super deluxe, super express, and hi-tech AC buses. The minimum charge on the AC low-floor buses has been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 15 and that of non-AC from Rs 5 to Rs 8.

The authorities are now mulling rescheduling low-floor buses. “We’ll run more city services in the peak hours. At other times, these buses will ply on routes like Muvattupuzha and Kolencherry where, with more services, we aim to establish a monopoly over private buses ,” the official said.

The KSRTC hopes for a revival of fortunes with the start of the Onam season when the buses will be deployed to destinations like Edapally (LuLu Mall) and Veegaland routes.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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