THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF state committee on Tuesday approved the transport department’s proposal to hike the bus fare in the state. The LDF’s nod is to increase minimum bus fare from Rs 8 to Rs 10 and a marginal increase in per km fare. There won’t be considerable increase in student concession fair.
The bus fare hike will become a reality once the cabinet approves the proposal. In the meeting, Transport Minister Antony Raju spoke about the discussion he had with representatives of private bus owners in Kottayam on Monday night. Bus operators, who had planned an indefinite strike from Tuesday, postponed it after minister assured them of a decision on fare hike before November 18.
A note given to LDF leaders by Antony Raju detailed the huge increase in maintenance and fuel expenditure incurred by bus owners in the past 16 months. With diesel prices going north and Covid protocol restricting the number of passengers in a bus, the possibility of making the service at least break even seemed remote.
The Justice Ramachandran Commission, appointed to study issues in the transport sector, also recommended a fare hike. In July, last year, the government increased per km travel fare from 70 to 90 paise.