GSRTC announces increase in bus fares while promising improved services
The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) buses have long been the lifeline of public transport for people across the state. However, this essential service has been grappling with a daily loss of approximately Rs 3 crore, at least according to reports. Despite this challenge, the fares remained unchanged until recently when the authorities announced a revised fare structure, marking the first adjustment since 2014.
How significant is the increase in fares?
The new bus fares will see an increase of up to 25%, resulting in an additional daily revenue of Rs 1.5 crore. This boost is expected to significantly alleviate the losses that the establishment has been incurring.
Specifically, the fare for regular buses will increase from 0.64 paisa per kilometer to 0.80 paisa per km. For express buses, the increase will be from Rs 0.68 paisa per km to Rs 0.85 paisa per km, while non-AC sleeper buses will see a rise from Rs 0.62 paisa per km to Rs 0.77 paisa per km.
The revised fares are immediately applicable. The state government clarified that Gujarat's fares were considerably lower compared to most other regions, and given that the fares have remained unchanged for 11 years, a revision was essential to align with current expenses.
What are the improvements that authorities have assured?
A senior GSRTC official highlighted that over 85% of the population relies on buses for transportation and emphasized that the fare hike is relatively moderate.
Additionally, the fare increase is expected to lead to overall improvements in the system's functioning. The corporation has announced plans to utilize the additional revenue to cover daily losses and to enhance the entire transportation system.
This will involve the replacement of older vehicles while two hundred Gurjari vehicles and 3,000 super express vehicles are set to hit the roads. Moreover, GSRTC intends to hire 8,841 individuals, including drivers, conductors, mechanics, and clerks during the year, in an effort to provide better facilities and services to the public.