Bus fares hiked in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, March 4 (IANS) The Kerala government Thursday hiked bus fares in the state by 50 paise to Rs.4. The per km fares for auto rickshaws and taxis were also raised by 50 paise to make these Rs.5.50 and Rs.7.50 respectively.

The new fares will come into effect once the government issues the order.

The state cabinet had decided to hike the fares Wednesday evening. Transport Minister Jose Thettayil announced it in the assembly Thursday.

State-owned National Transportation and Planning Centre had earlier submitted a report giving the nod to an increase.

Private bus operators in the state have long been asking for a fare hike. Still, they are not happy as they wanted a cut in the concessions given to students and that the minimum fare be fixed at Rs.5.

A section of the private bus owners said they would go ahead with a proposed strike on March 16 as their demands had not been met in full.

More than 30,000 private buses are plying in the state. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has 5,115 buses.

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