Amaravati: Anger and outrage have gripped Andhra Pradesh after the state increased bus fares for the third time. AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses called it a diesel cess and passed the burden on the common man. The new fares are applicable from July 1 The bus fares have gone up by a minimum of Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 140 depending on the distance, type of the bus service, and facilities extended to the passengers. These bus fares remain unchanged for the first 30 km.
Ever since the YSRCP government came into power, APSRTC has increased bus fares thrice. The last time the fare was increased was in April 2022. According to the data available, the fares of Palle Telugu buses have increased from 63 paise per km to Rs 1.02. Express service charges have increased from 16.39% percent to 43.67%. The major bus services of super-luxury(for long distances) have increased from 12% to 39.65%.
"For rural bus services `Palle Velugu', the fares have gone up from a minimum of Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 25. If this is the situation, how can a common man take the burden of bus fares? We count every rupee we spend and it seems like the highest we pay is for bus charges", said, Ramulayya, a native of Parvathipuram.
For Express bus services, the fares have gone up from a minimum of Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 90 for travel (for more than 500 km). For Ultra Deluxe bus services, the fare hike would range from Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 120. For Super Luxury buses, the increase in fare ranges from Rs 10 to Rs 120. For all the Air-Conditioned bus services, the hike would be a minimum of Rs 10 to a maximum of Rs 140. In this way, travelers to Hyderabad, Vizag, Tirupati, and other cities have to pay Rs 60 to Rs 70 extra depending on the type of services like Garuda and Vennela.
"At the time when we joined college two years back, the bus fares were Rs 235 for luxury buses, which increased to Rs 280. It increased twice since 2019. Now the prices have been increased again. This is a burden on students who travel home on weekends. If this is the case, we have to skip traveling home regularly", said a medical student from Srikakulam.
"I work in Vijayawada and travel to Visakhapatnam during the weekends. The ticket price of a super luxury bus was Rs.475 two years back. Now it has been increased to Rs 671. Buses are meant to provide accessible transport to the common man. Is it because we don't take to roads, the government is taking decisions arbitrarily" questions Srinivasa Rao, a resident of Visakhapatnam.