Private bus operators in Maharashtra can’t charge you more in peak seasons
According to the state resolution, private bus operators can charge a maximum of 50 % more for each kilometre as compared to state-owned MSRTC.mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2018 00:38 IST
Private intercity bus operators will not be able to charge arbitrary fares to passengers during holiday or festive seasons from now on. Acting on a Bombay high court directive, the state government on Friday fixed the maximum fare of private buses — a first-of-its-kind initiative.
According to the state resolution, private bus operators can charge a maximum of 50 % more for each kilometre as compared to state-owned Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses, but there is no cap on a lower fare.
The government has fixed the maximum fare for private buses in the range between Rs69.30/km and Rs169.86/km, depending on the type of the buses. Presently, MSRTC operates five types of buses. The fare for these buses range between Rs6.30/km and Rs15.88/km. While leasing out the whole bus, the fare ranges between Rs46.20/km and Rs113.86/km. In absence of such regulations, private bus operators charged exorbitant fares during festive seasons.
In April 2012, while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pune-based social activist Asim Sarode, the Bombay HC had directed the state to fix the fare of private buses plying on the contract carriage permit.
The state had asked Pune-based Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) to give a formula for calculating the maximum fare for private buses. The government stated it has fixed the maximum fare limit stop financial exploitation of passengers.
Diwakar Raote, transport minister said, “If any private bus operator charges more than the limit, the permit of the bus will be cancelled.”
However, officials from road transport office seem doubtful of the relief passengers will get. A senior official said on routes where MSRTC bus services are not great, private operators could charge high fares.