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Karnataka: KSRTC mulls to hike bus fares by 10 to 15% soon

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is considering a fare increase of 10 to 15% due to rising operational costs driven by higher diesel prices, increased staff salaries, and maintenance costs. Diesel prices have risen from Rs. 61 to Rs. 88 per litre since 2020, and staff wages by 20%. These factors, along with the need for new buses.

Karnataka: KSRTC mulls to hike bus fares by 10 to 15% soon vkp
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First Published Jun 8, 2024, 10:35 AM IST

In response to rising operational costs, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is considering a fare increase of 10 to 15 per cent across its services. This decision comes after a sustained period of financial challenges exacerbated by increasing diesel prices, higher staff salaries, and the escalating cost of maintenance.

The four state transport corporations have seen their expenses climb steadily over the years due to various factors. The price of diesel, for instance, has surged from Rs. 61 per litre in 2020 to Rs. 88, marking a significant 27 rupee increase. Additionally, staff wages have risen by 20 per cent, alongside increases in the costs of spare parts and toll charges.

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Financial records reveal that these corporations have accumulated over Rs. 4,000 crore in debt over the past five years, with liabilities swelling as revenue fails to keep pace with rising expenditures. The push for fare increases is also fueled by the need to integrate new buses to meet passenger demands, further straining the budgets of these transport bodies.

Despite the rules stipulating periodic fare adjustments, only three of the four corporations adjusted their fares in 2020, with an increase of 12 per cent. A review of fare policies suggested that a 39 per cent hike could have been justified over the past four years to align with the actual increase in operating costs.

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As the KSRTC alone faces an additional annual burden of Rs. 1,000 crores due to these factors, the fare revision appears inevitable. Currently, diesel expenses alone consume 45 per cent of the corporation's revenue, with daily costs soaring from Rs. 3.10 crore in 2020 to Rs. 5.30 crore.

The governing bodies of the transport corporations are set to convene and finalize their proposal for the fare increase. Initial indications suggest a proposed hike of 25 per cent, although government sources anticipate approving a more moderate increase of 10 to 12 per cent.

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