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KSRTC and BMTC price hike - why?

The recent hike in KSRTC and BMTC fares has made everyone think twice before using buses.

KSRTC first. I travelled from Mysore to Bangalore today in KSRTC. Following are the revised prices

  • Normal Non Stop Mysooru Mallige -75 revised to 89
  • Volvo (Airavatha) Already Whooping 200 rupees to 225 rupees
  • Sheetal - 104 to 125 rupees.
  • Rajahamsa - 120 to 135 rupees.

Is this justifiable? A drive in a fuel efficient diesel car such as Swift or Fiesta costs only 225 rupees for 4-5 members. (25 kmpl at 40 rupees per litre. Mysore distance is 140 kms). Will the private car usage not become more with this move by KSRTC? Earlier, KSRTC increased the fare every six months saying summer special and Dasara Special by 10 rupees to all the executive services without any increase in fuel costs.

Let us come to BMTC. A city bus travel from Kattriguppe to Hanumanthnagar costs 7 rupees for just 3 kms. I overheard few young boys chatting that a travel in a fuel efficient 100cc commuter bike (66 kmpl with 57 rupees per litre of petrol) costs only 3 rupees for 2 between two places. For bus travel for the same distance we have to pay more than double. Will ever people be pushed to use public transport with a cost scenario like this. Anyone who cannot even afford a new bike will buy a second hand 100cc commuter bike and use that instead of travelling in crowded BMTC after paying double the amount.

Any Government's success or failure is accounted only in the form of price increases. This injustifiable price hike by KSRTC and BMTC during the first reign of BJP government may cost its Vote Bank.

I am wondering why opposite party is keeping quite and why nobody is protesting.

[PS: formatted a bit while moving to frontpage. also edited the subject {blr_editor}]

Rithesh's picture

BMLTA is the way out

The Bangalore-Mysore i guess is also open for private players. So that will ensure that the prices are market regulated - unless there is a collective effort to increase the price.

But as you have stated the cost of travelling by car (for 4 people) is indeed lower than the cost of traveling by bus – considering that for most people economics aspects takes precedence over other aspects (environmental) while making decisions – people will be tempted to use their cars. This will be dangerous trend.

About BMTC (and in the future with the Metro) I think BMLTA is the way forward. BMTC has a monopoly over public transport in Bangalore – that removes any market regulatory forces. BMLTA should have the powers to regulate/fix the tariffs/ticket prices (similar to what KERC is doing with the power tariffs). Compared to Chennai and Hyderabad the cost of local transport was already significantly high in Bangalore. Volvo bus prices are also exorbitant – for some people it makes sense to use their cars instead of using these buses. It defeats the very purpose of public transport.

Government should look at ways to subsidize urban public transport. Probably increase the road taxes and RTO taxes further. But then there should be a clear commitment from the government that the excess revenue generated will be used for subsidizing public transport.

Ravi_D's picture

Price Hike & Subsidies

Real cost of transport / travel is hard to understand. Subsidies skew cost equations. See this thread - mysteries about transport subsidies. Ideally, all prices are set by the market. Where certain things need encouragement (read public transport), policy aids by providing indirect incentives. In case of public transport, let us say everything you spent on public transport is income tax free. A more socially balanced approach - public transport operators get to deduct all taxes paid on fuel and consumables used for daily operation of the fleet. Not individual vehicle owners, not taxis, not autos. Current policy is too messed up - everybody gets subsidized and tax payers (and the comman man) bear the brunt.

Ritesh: In case you haven't noticed, we are trying to set up a meeting with BMLTA to discuss their role. Interested in joining us?


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