Kerala govt mulls bus fare hike amid COVID-19, Rs 10 likely to be minimum fare

South India

Amid COVID-19, the bus fare in Kerala is likely to go up as a judicial commission appointed to study the sector has recommended in favour of a hike. 


The commission’s proposals are aimed at helping bus operators and crew members who have faced financial stress after the services were affected for about two months due to the COVID-19 lockdown that started on March 24.

As per the report, the government would take up the interim-report submitted by Justice M Ramachandran Commission on Thursday and the state government is likely to take a final decision on Monday.

The justice Ramachandran Commission has recommended, the minimum bus fare should be Rs 10, with additional Rs 2 for every 2.5 kilometres after the minimum distance.

According to the Indian Express report, the commission reportedly recommended an increase of 30 per cent in ordinary services, 40 per cent and 50 per cent for limited and superclass travels respectively. 

The recommendations are for a temporary period to tide over the impact of the pandemic. 

The commission also recommended the buses to limit the passenger intake to maintain social distancing. 

According to the Onmanorama report, the commission’s  has also suggested that students' fare should be lowered by 50 per cent. But since all schools and colleges are closed in view of COVID-19, the state government will discuss if this necessary.

Earlier, the government had increased the basic fare to Rs 12 during the lockdown. But it was reverted back to Rs 8 when the lockdown was lifted. 

The commission was appointed to look at the fares after bus owners took the state government to court over a decision to roll back the fare hike it had announced during the lockdown period. 

The government had initially allowed bus operators to double the fare since it wanted them to run services with only 50 percent capacity to ensure social distancing among passengers. As the lockdown restrictions were eased, it rolled back the fare hike.

With inputs from media reports

Image credit: Kerala Kaumudi

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