Festival rush: Private bus firms jack up fares

Bengaluru: While the state government is reluctant to increase bus fares, in the wake of rising fuel costs, private bus operators have already jacked up fares to cash in on the forthcoming Dasara rush.

As schools and colleges have vacations there is a heavy demand for bus and train bookings.

Now a one-way travel by a private bus from Bengaluru to other southern cities in an A/C bus would costing anywhere between Rs 900 and Rs 4,100. Passengers are fuming as they have to fork out almost three times the amount they pay otherwise.

"Most of the private operates claim they are forced to sell tickets for a cheaper price on normal days and it is only during festivals they make a profit. The operators also blame it on fuel price hike. They argue they won’t get any subsidy or any other incentive which the state transport corporations  get. So it is not a surprising that we private operators have to increase fares," a private transport owner told Deccan Chronicle requesting anonymity.

The travelling public, however, complain there is no uniformity or cap on bus fares, irrespective of the distance. It was also seen that bus fares from Bengaluru to destinations such as  Mangaluru, Bidar, Hyderabad and Coimbatore continue to be high because of the huge demand. Sources said private bus fares will increase further as the festival draws closer and the charges would be much higher for those making last minute bookings. 

“It’s the same story we come across every year. The bus seat availability for state transport buses during Dasara festival vacations is full and we are forced to approach private operators. There have been no efforts to rein in erring bus operators who fleece passengers during festival season. We understand that there is a demand and we are ready to pay a little extra, but most operators have almost doubled the fares, which is unfair,” said Abhilash R., who booked a bus ticket to Mangaluru for Rs 2,000.  

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