The base fares of the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) buses will now be reviewed every six months and will be calculated on the basis of existing fuel price, consumer price index and the annual maintenance rate. The first revised fare will be implemented from January 1, 2017.
TMT authorities will propose to review the fare every six months — in January and June — in the general body meeting to be held this week. The fare, which remained unchanged for years, will now be subjected to revision every six months.
A TMT officer, requesting anonymity, said, “The transport body will acquire 200 new buses in phases under the JNNURM scheme. For this, a detailed proposal was made in 2009. The cost of the same was Rs57 crore, which was approved by the state and central governments. The central government, however, put forth certain conditions to strengthen and increase the efficiency of the transport system, including reviewing the fares regularly.”
The transport body had hired the Urban Mass Transit Company as the consultant to come up with a system to calculate and regularly revise the fare. “The formula, based on the above three parameters, is not just beneficial for the TMT but also for the consumers. Most public transport system will be adopting a similar fare calculator in the future,” the officer said.
Sudheer Raut, transport manager, TMT, said, “The base fare at present is Rs6. However, it wasn’t revised in a long time even though the fuel prices skyrocketed. The fare might not just increase, but also decrease if the fuel rates and consumer price index has decreased. This will ensure that the consumer do not pay high fares unnecessary nor do we have to face losses in case of increase in prices.”
Commuters’ union opposes fare hike
The Thane district commuters’ association claimed this is a hidden fare hike under the garb of reviewing it. Chandrahas Tawde, general secretary of the association, said, “The condition of the TMT buses is pathetic, people are forced to commute in these rickety old buses. Now, they will have to shell out more money every six months for commuting in such buses. The fuel prices in India increase regularly, so the ticket fares will surely increase rather than decrease every six months.”
He alleged that rather than putting efforts for improving services, emphasis is given on increasing fares.