Bus fares up by 4%

Published : 9:12 am  September 20, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (76) reads | 

There will be no change in the minimum bus fare of Rs. 12

 

Untitled-4By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Transport Ministry yesterday agreed to increase bus fares by 4 per cent effective from today (20) midnight though private bus operators demanded a 10 per cent increase, Transport Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said yesterday.

There will be no change in the minimum bus fare of Rs. 12.  


Minister De Silva had a discussion with private bus operators last morning at his Ministry. Private bus operators were adamant on increasing bus fares by 10 per cent citing recent fuel price hike, the increase of prices of spare parts and salaries of the bus crew.  


But Minister De Silva told private bus operators that he could permit only a fare hike of 4 per cent and added he would get the Cabinet Approval for the fresh revision of bus fare.  


Minister De Silva had also instructed Transport and Aviation Ministry Secretary G.S. Withanage and the National Transport Commission (NTC) to prepare a bus fare formula that could be revised with the fluctuation of fuel prices, on the request of private bus operators.  


He also advised officials to submit a report on recommendations on bus fares and other issues by January 1st.  


The discussion was attended by Mr Withanage, NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra and representatives of private bus operators unions.  


Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesmen, Dr Rajitha Senaratne and Gayantha Karunatilaka told journalists at the weekly Cabinet news briefing that they would oppose bus fare hike at the Cabinet meeting.  


“The best way to prevent private bus operators taking the Government and passengers to ransom is to strengthen the SLTB. We would do that once a fleet of 1,700 modern and comfortable buses are imported from Romania shortly,” he said.  


“The Cabinet has already given approval to the project. If the SLTB had a minimum of 8,000 buses, the Government would be in a position to face any challenge by private bus operators with the help of the Sri Lanka Railways.  
“We will do it before long and private bus operators can go on strike every day if they want to after that,” Minister Senaratne said. 

 

De Silva told private bus operators that he could permit only a fare hike of 4 per cent and added he would get the Cabinet Approval for the fresh revision of bus fare