Bhatkal: The Karnataka State Road Transport Service (KSRTC) has hiked the price of tickets for its Volvo shuttle services between Bhatkal – Mangaluru to compensate with the toll gates fares after the Shiroor toll gate began operating.
The fares have been hiked to Rs. 261 from Rs. 250 for a journey between Mangaluru to Bhatkal and vice-versa.
KSRTC official from Mangaluru division confirmed the news to Bhatkallys.com and added that the government hiked the fares to compensate the toll charges of new toll gate that has started operating in Shiroor.
Regular commuters of the bus services have expressed their dissent over the move and has called on authorities to withdraw the hike in fares.
The state government had deployed the Airavat Volvo Buses for the services in March 2017 with the fares for complete journey costing Rs. 225. However taking into consideration the good response to the services and addition of more buses to the fleet, the prices were slashed to Rs. 200 in only a couple of weeks.
The fares were then once again hiked to Rs. 250 in 2018 before hiking it to Rs. 261 earlier last week. The Shiroor toll gate also started operating last week.
The earlier price hike to Rs. 250 had also received criticism by the commuters and several organisations had submitted memorandum to the state government and the KSRTC demanding withdrawal of the hike but both the government and the KSRTC had sustained with the increased fares.
On the other hand, the private bus services, plying on the same route have not made any changes to the pricing of the tickets. The journey between Bhatkal to Mangalore and vice-versa costs Rs. 140 on the private buses. But people prefering comfort and flexibility of timings opts for Volvo services of the KSRTC.
A WhatsApp message however, being circulated on social media platforms has been urging people to stage protest against the hike in fares by not opting for these government run volvo services and to opt for private buses until the hike is withdrawn.