Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bus fare hike likely in February

Lanka Private Bus Owners Association chairman Gemunu Wijeratna said there would be an increase of 6% -8% in bus fares in February.

Mr. Wijeratne said bus fares were revised annually. The latest revision was effected in February last year by 20% due to the increase in the diesel price, so the next revision had to be made this February. However, if paying a diesel concession was considered by the government the need for the fare increase would not have arisen, Mr. Wijeratna said.

“Concessions of this nature are offered in many countries. But the government has no methodology to analyse and quantify the concession needed. Today the private bus service has almost collapsed. There is a possibility of private bus owners going towards strike action.”

Although the treasury gave Rs 2,800 million for the fleet of 4000 buses of the SLTB no such concession was given to the fleet of the 20,000 bus strength of the private service he charged.

The proposed increase of bus fare was based on 12 factors including the increase of the USD, the high price of spare parts and the higher interest rate of leasing, he said.

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