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KSRTC charges more for in-state travel - puzzling...very puzzling !!

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BusPublic Transport

I was booking online on KSRTC portal and observed something very peculiar..very puzzling..very disappointed

  • Bangalore to Hubli >> 416KM >> Rs.260 >> Rs. 0.625 / km
  • Bangalore to Coimbatore >> 345KM >> Rs.176 >> Rs. 0.51 / km

Other examples: Rajahamsa

Bangalore to madurai >> 457KM >> Rs.292 >> Rs.0.63/km

Bangalore to raichur >> 462KM >> Rs.390 >> Rs.0.84/km

Mysore to salem >> 243KM >> Rs.136 >> Rs.0.55/km

Mysore to udupi >> 351KM >> Rs. 220 >> Rs.0.62/km

Why this fare difference for Tamilnadu bound and Karnataka routes. I observed the same for other routes, any idea why this injustice. One thing might be competition but hope this is not the reason for such injustice to kannadigas. I read Karnataka is the state with highest fares!!


swamy's picture


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first time I read I tought you are saying out of state of costly, in-state is cheap. then I read carefully, it is in-state expensive, out-of-state cheap!!

very very puzzling sir. good finding.

silkboard's picture

one error there, but still high

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Rs 176 for 345 KM would be 0.51 Rs/Km NOT 0.41. Please correct.

Even then, 0.51 vs 0.62, that is about 20% higher fare for in-state travel. The fares may be in bands - per 50 KM, so much higher. So wll need more comparisons to check on the difference,

Looks like competition may be the reason. But KSRTC has compettion for in-state Bus travel. Is it weaker than TNSRTC?

karpraja's picture

corrected and added more examples

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Corrected the fares as 0.51 and added more examples...

Reg the distance slabs, guess the more distance you go the less will be the rate per km..which should again the land the ball in ksrtc court to explain why the fares are higher for in-state travel?

Also I'm concerned about the fare diff for standard services used by the common man daily, I'm least bothered what they charge for Airavat or other premium services. I read always KSRTC services are world class <blah blah> but that should not be at the cost of looting the common man. Sometimes I feel the normal services are sub standardized to increase the ridership of volvo (which beleive cannot be afforded by everybody).

I have also dropped a mail to KSRTC BLR division, will ping you guys once they reply.



kumarvjn's picture


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Dear Sir,

This is not new and I have observed this type of fares since 1988.  In general, the bus fares in Tamilnadu is always lower than Karnataka fares.  I have also noticed that KSRTC increased its fares 4 or 5 times during a span of 3-5 years some where between 1988 to 1993.  Around the same period, Tamilnadu corporations increased the fares only once.  During that time, fares in BTS used to be in multiples of Rs. 0.25 and Pallavan Transport (Equivalent of BTS for Chennai city) used to have fares in multiples of Rs. 0.05 and Rs. 0.10.  The conductors of PTC used to give back changes promptly.  Around the same time, APSRTC fares were also much lower than KSRTC.

During those days KSRTC was having Super Deluxe (Present Day Rajahamsa), Semi Luxury and Ordinary services.  For Tamilnadu (excluding Vellore and Hosur), KSRTC used to operate Super Deluxe and Semi Luxury type of services and for Vellore and Hosur ordinary type of services.  The fare in Semi Luxury towards TN was lower than ordinary services within Karnataka.

My understanding for this strange pricing is like this.

KSRTC enters into agreement with neighboring states for operating buses in their territory and accordingly they also enter into agreement with KSRTC.  During these agreement, lower fare among the participating states is selected.  One can see this type of advertisements about routes and frequencies in newspapers issued by KSRTC.  Since, as stated above other state bus fares are lower than KSRTC fares, the KSRTC is supposed to stick to those fares.

One more thing, KSRTC increases fares with every increase of fuel price hike where as other states won’t do.  As off now, KSRTC fare very high when compared with other states and even railways.  For example, fare between Bangalore and Shimoga in intercity express without reservation is Rs. 62.00 and KSRTC bus fare is more than Rs. 150.00 (I don’t exact fare as I stopped traveling by bus).  Same way one can travel to Hubli by Jan Shatabdi by paying much less than a bus.  The journey time is also less.

With all these high fares, KSRTC claims that they are making huge amount of profits!!!  With this type of fares, any body can make profits even with poorly maintained fleet.

Private Stage Carriage operators (Karnataka is having large number of private bus service in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Koadagu, Mysore, Mandya, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Davangere, Chitradurga, Bellary, Kolar, Tumkur, Chikballapur, Bangalore, Ramanagara districts) are also making huge profits as they fix their fares either at par with KSRTC or more than KSRTC fare in some segments.

One can travel from Bangalore to Mangalore by paying Rs. 101 (general compartment) by day time travel.  Of course, train takes around 10 to 10 1/2 hours time runs only on alternate days.  Bus fare during night time is nearly 4 time than this fare and increases abnormally during festive seasons.  Unfortunately, Karnataka is not having enough trains in existing lines.


Couple of years back, the fare increase used to be per stage.  In case of KSRTC it is 6.5 Km.  Now a days is directly on %age basis.


karpraja's picture

that was a good answer

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Hi Kumar,

That was a comprehensive explanation to my doubt. Yep so that might be the answer for the high fares..profits. It's sad but true that KSRTC profits from charging high fares for the common man.

I wonder why govt is also not helping by subsizing the fuel charges atleast for ordinary services esp when central govt is least bothered about karnataka (read railways). Let them make money off airavat and other premium services. I bet even though the ordinary fares are reduced, there will people still travel on volvo and other premium services.

God help karnataka.




silkboard's picture

that is not right

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karpraja, this line

Let them make money off airavat and other premium services.

Why so? Why not just let go of ordinary services, and have only airavat and premium. these "high end" services will get cheaper with larger volumes.

Does KSRTC really have poorly maintained fleet? why don't we (public do a surprise "audit" of ordinary buses at a KSRTC stand/depot? We can also do this with prior permission from KSRTC if we think that would be the better way.

I have met KSRTC MD a few times, and I can confidently say that he will welcome all reasonable pressure building efforts from citizens.


karpraja's picture

you got me wrong there

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I meant making a profit off airavat...I'm not sure if we can ever phase out ordinary services...bcoz airavat fare cannot be brought down beyond a certain level.

And I'm not sure how much the fares will be brought down as shown by KSRTC in Mysore BLR express services...No matter whatever is the demand, fares are not brought down (in fact, there charged me a "surcharge" during dasara last time!!).

My point is all services can co-exist - as shown in the airlines, just that people will go for full service airlines or budget as per their choice/needs but one good thing is they are making flying affordable to all. Good thing is both are making good profits. Unlike KSRTC which charges the same for mysore non stop (3hrs) or the shuttle service (close to 4.5hrs!!).

The larger picture is we need to replciate the model for all routes in karnataka not just some selected ones. I think KSRTC should put service/fares before profits atleast for ordinary services.

Vasanth's picture

KSRTC has only price hike, no rollback, season special hikes !!

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I had said earlier that KSRTC increases the fare whenever there is fuel price hike, but when the fuel price hike is rolled back or reduced, they won't reduce the fare. Also the fare hike is not proportional to fuel price hike.

Apart from this, there is summer special, Dasara special price hike !! Railways run extra trains as Summer Special whereas KSRTC hikes prices and never rolls back.

Wherever there is profit to KSRTC, they are increasing the prices further. For instance, Bangalore-Mysore is Rs.250 in Airavat for just 140 kms whereas for whole night journey to Dharmasthal, price is Rs. 425 for covering distance of nearly 300+ kms. Weekends, between Bangalore and Mysore, people rush to Airavat just like train despite of the high prices. KSRTC is cashing on this.

KSRTC had started a service similar to Garib Rath train service concept called Sheethal which had ordinary seats but had Air Conditioning. Prices were just 10-20 rupees extra compared to normal bus and the speed and time taken was same as Airavat. For example, Bangalore-Mysore ordinary fare when started was 85, sheethal fare was 105 and Volvo was 225. Sheethal and Volvo were covering distance in 2hr 15 minutes without coffee break and ordinary buses in 3 hrs with coffee break.  Since Sheethal had become competitor to Airavat, they installed Speed Lock of 60kmph and introduced a coffee break to Sheethal making it to take 3 hrs. Also they increased fare not allowing common/poor man to take Air-Conditioned services.

Somebody in KSRTC is taking initiative to introduce services for poor and within organization someone else is putting the breaks to it.

Railways has Rajdhani for luxury and Sampark Kranthi / Garib Rath offering similar service at lower price for the poor. Why not such concepts being adopted by KSRTC?





karpraja's picture

sheetal fare now is 150-170 INR

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Thanks Vasanth for such a good summary. Yep some black sheep within the org...bcoz yesterday my wife paid 170 for sheetal against 230/250 for airavat and it took 3.5hr with a kopi break....I guess they want to hide their blunders and force people to use might be even be loss making one.

ss87's picture

Higher fares on demanded routes

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More than inter-state and intra-state it is more of pricing as per demand i.e pricing as and where demand is higher. The fare from Bangalore to Chennai by volvo is Rs.630/- for 340kms at almost Rs.2 a kilometer(Think higherst charged). Also from Bangalore to Mysore a distance of about 139kms is Rs.270 by day bus whereas to Belur a distance of 210kms the fare is Rs.275. The fare to Ernakulam is far lesser compared to the fare charged for Hyderabad by the same volvo.


It is true that the other states charge lesser and hence the inter-state services have to charge less. But on sectors like Bangalore-Chennai it is only the ksrtc govt Volvo buses running and not tNSTC. But shockingly other private operators have kept fares higher than that of KSRTC services.


The fuel prices is highest in Karnataka compared to other South Indian States and our orgainzation has also seen that they kept increasing-there was never a roll back. and now the burden on commuters have increased with the tolled roads coming into picture. The other day travelling to Hassan by Tirupati-Mudigere Sarige bus the conductor took Re1 etc from every passenger and paid Rs.55 to the toll operator on the Nelamangla toll road. That time tolls near Kunigal were getting ready starting of which is going to burn the pockets.

Surprisingly the fuel prices doesnt ever seem to strike the train services. For past 6 years the fare from Bangalore to Mysore by unreserved in Express trains has been Rs.45 whereas buses have gone upto Rs.90 from 65. Similarly on my recent trip from Hassan i took the Mangalore Day Express. the fare from Hassan to Yeshvantapur was just Rs.55 and ( reservation Rs.70) compared to 130 by bus. Getting down at Yeshvantapur I spent the remaining Rs.45 on 2 buses and one auto to reach home spending exactly Rs.100.


Vasanth's picture

It is your luck to get Good Quality Bus

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Another important factor is the quality of bus you may get for the same price. Interstate and long distance buses will be of good quality, local short distance buses will be of poor quality. 

For example, last week when I travelled from Mysore to Bangalore, there were two Airavats, one interstate going to Chennai which had less number of vacant seats and another local between Mysore to Bangalore which was empty. I took the local Mysore Bangalore bus. Although our Bus  left the Mysore bus stand ahead of the interstate bus, the interstate bus overtook us and he was very fast. Our bus never could catch up with that. Both were Airavat. Our's was old model Volvo and interstate one was new model which I could make out from exteriors. Most of the Airavats to Mysore are of old model Volvo despite of the premium being charged to Mysore travellers and it takes 2 hrs 45 minutes compared to newer models which cover in 2 hrs 15 mins.

Same is the case for normal saarige bus. For high frequency routes like Mysore, we get lots of choice. It is better to take buses which are interstate. comment guidelines

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