In an effort to counter spiralling fuel prices, fleet-operating costs and in order to meet salary requirements of its employees, the Tamil Nadu government on January 19 announced a revision in bus fares after a gap of six years. The revision in prices was steep and the fare for a distance of 30 km was hiked from ₹17 to ₹24 in the express/semi-deluxe service category. The revision for the Volvo service (from ₹33 to ₹51), air-conditioned bus (₹27 to ₹42), ultra deluxe (₹21 to ₹33) and super deluxe (₹18 to ₹27) categories also saw a sharp increased.
This hike in fares had led to protests across the state with commuters, students and political parties demanding that the government bring back the original costs. The DMK had staged state-wide agitations and warned of intensifying its protests if the revision was not rolled back immediately. The Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, MK Stalin, demanded that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami should immediately withdraw the hike or resign.
Following this, the Transport Department has reduced ticket rates
The reduction will come into effect from Monday, January 29, for normal buses (60 paise to 58 paise per kilometre), super-fast buses (80 paise to 75 paise per kilometre), AC buses (140 paise to 130 paise per kilometre) and deluxe buses (90 to 85 paise). Tickets for super-deluxe buses will be priced at Rs 85 for 30 kms.
The government in its latest announcement said that despite the hike in fares from January 20, the Transport Department expected a loss of Rs 2 crore every day. Now, with fares reduced again they are estimating a loss of Rs 4 crore a day. The government has requested that civilians cooperate and accept the revision in prices, so as to allow the government to operate services of good quality.