The Delhi government is considering to raise bus fares in the capital after Diwali bya whopping 150 pc in some slabs, says a media report. Likewise, Delhi Metro is also considering hike in its fares.sometime after Diwali.
According to Times of India, while bus fares are likely to increase by up to 150% in some slabs, Delhi Metro is also set to increase ticket prices. Sources said the monthly bus pass for students, too, will cost Rs 100 instead of Rs 12.50.
The fare hike proposal sent by Delhi government's transport department is expected to be cleared as soon as it gets the cabinet's nod.
Several revised fare options have been submitted and a final decision is yet to be made, the report said.
One of the main reasons for the fare hike is Delhi Metro, where the fare structure is higher than in buses. Sources said the new fare structure will have just three slabs — Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 15 for distances of 0-3km, 3-10km and over 10km. The existing fare slabs are Rs 3, Rs 5, Rs 7 and Rs 10 for distances of 0-4km, 4-8km, 8-12km and over 12 km.
Bus fares were last revised in Delhi in 2007 but the increase was moderate. The proposal is most likely to be accepted, say sources, as it has minimum overlap with Delhi Metro fares.
The premise being followed is that if bus and Metro fares are the same, especially for long-distance trips, commuters are more likely to prefer the Metro. But if the differential is considerable, the lower economic strata will go for buses. Proposed bus fare hike steeper for short rides
The proposed hike in bus fare has been planned to have minimum overlap with Delhi Metro fares. A survey by the transport department found that nearly 70 per cent of people taking long distance trips on DTC buses are those whose monthly household income is Rs 3,000-6,000.
For short distances, however, commuters may continue to opt for buses even if the fares are the same or higher. This is because buses are faster than the Metro for short trips as one doesn't need extra time to walk to a Metro station, buy a token, wait to board a train etc.
Also, the penetration of buses is better and commuters are likely to be dropped nearer their destination if they board a bus. Therefore, in the proposed fare structure (Rs 5-10-15), the maximum increase is in the base slab (from Rs 3 to Rs 5).
The increase will also reflect in AC buses where the fares will remain the same but the kilometre slabs will change. The proposed fares are Rs 5 for 0-4km, Rs 10 for 4-8km, Rs 15 for 8-12km and Rs 20 for more than 12km. The existing fares are Rs 5 for 0-8km, Rs 10 for 8-16km, Rs 15 for 16-24km and Rs 20 for over 24km. The fares for Bluelines will also change accordingly.
The proposals were drafted after several months of analysis where officials took into account factors like elasticity, demand, willingness to pay and capacity to pay.
The fare revision is expected to provide relief to the perennially cash-strapped DTC which is reeling under massive losses.
This years' economic survey has revealed that DTC's working losses increased from Rs 325 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 563 crore for 2008-09. A major contributor to the loss are the monthly concession passes, for which the government paid a subsidy of Rs 19 crore in the last financial year alone.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had also set up a fare fixation committee in August this year for revision of fares.
Though the committee, comprising a retired judge and two government representatives, is yet to give its recommendations, sources said the Metro fares are going to be increased.
The proposal is to increase the base fare (0-2km) from Rs 6 to Rs 8 and the maximum fare (over 39km) from Rs 22 to Rs 32. The rest of the slabs will also increase accordingly.