PUNE: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has increased fares of all buses by 18 per cent from June 15. Passengers will have to shell out Rs 85 more for Pune-Mumbai travel by Shivneri bus. The fare for the service on this route has gone up from Rs 477 to Rs 555. The fares for various bus services for all routes also have been increased in the range of Rs 30 to 127.
According to officials of MSRTC, Pune division, the decision has been made owing to high fuel prices. “With fuel prices having been hiked, we are facing a loss of Rs 1.50 crore daily. If things continue like this, we will be looking at an additional loss of Rs 460 crore by the end of the year. Moreover, salaries of employees have been hiked recently. Owing to the same, we will incur an additional cost of Rs 4,849 crore each year. Hence, the decision to increase fares has been taken,” the official said.
MSRTC operates 19,000 buses daily. Around 70 lakh people use its bus services daily. The buses operate on 18,000 routes across the State.
“At present, a person travelling from Pune to Dadar by a Shivneri bus pays a fare of Rs 477. Following the hike from June 15, they will have to pay
Rs 555 on the route. Similarly, the fare for a Shivshahi service from Shivajinagar to Nashik is Rs 335. They will have to pay over Rs 395 after the hike,” the official said.
“If a passenger travels from Pune to Panaji by a Shivshahi bus, they have to pay Rs 127 more than the current fare. Similarly, the fare has been hiked by Rs 69 for Pune-Kolhapur Shivshahi service,” said the official.
Passengers expressed their disappointment over the fare hike. “The travel by Shivneri from Pune to Dadar is very comfortable. But increasing the fare is unfair. Travelling will become costlier. It is better to travel by railway due to cheaper fares and less time taken for the journey,” said Jayant Desai, a frequent traveller by Pune-Mumbai Shivneri bus.
“Why should we pay extra for the fuel price hike? Recently, we faced inconvenience during the two-day strike by MSRTC employees. We paid more than regular fares to private bus operators. I travel to Kolhapur by Shivshahi. Earlier, we used to travel by a private buses. But after Shivshahi service, most of the passengers avoided private buses. The fare was not very high. Now, I have to pay on par with private buses,” said Dinesh Adhav, a regular passenger.