By Kartik Kumar
Starting next month, the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking will cut fares of its AC buses by 30 to 40 per cent, apparently because not enough passengers are travelling by these buses.
The new fares will be marginally higher than those for non-AC buses, it is learnt.
Transport Secretary Bhawna Garg said that the decision had been taken to encourage more commuters to use public transport, which would significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and also bring down pollution levels.
However, officials said that there had been more than 25 per cent fall in commuters travelling by AC buses since the fares were increased by 40 per cent about seven months ago. Even the daily bus pass of Rs 50 for AC buses had very few takers when compared to non-AC daily bus pass which costs Rs 30.
At present, the AC fares are Rs 15 up to 3 km, Rs 20 up to 10 km and Rs 25 above 10 km. The non-AC fares are Rs 5 up to 3 km, Rs 10 up to 10 km and Rs 15 above 10 km.
CTU director T P S Phoolka said that the CTU was going through a revamp in operational modes. Starting next month, the bus pass system would be implemented on date basis and not on month basis.
Phoolka also mentioned that the fares of daily bus pass for AC buses would settle around Rs 40 in the coming weeks.
The real problem of the CTU is its operational losses which were more than Rs 250 crore in the last five years. The administration’s decision not to hike bus fares for close to 10 years was one of the main reasons.
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