Private bus owners warned of another price increase by 15 to 20 percent from July 1, based on the national fare policy, but said fares will not be increased with the recent diesel price hike which was minimal.
The national fare policy is decided based on a number of factors including hike in diesel price, cost of servicing vehicles, cost of spare parts, etc. The fare is increased every year according to National Transport Commission (NTC) policy. However, bus fares have been increased more frequently due to the fuel price hikes.
Sources said that as fuel prices would be determined every month according to world market prices, with another fuel hike, bus fares too would increase. Meanwhile, at a meeting held recently by bus operators with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse , it was decided to draft timetables so that the buses would run in a more orderly manner.
Lanka Private Bus Owners` Association (LPBOA) head Gemunu Wijeratne, told The Sunday Times the recent series of bus accidents can well be accredited to the delay in implementing the route franchising scheme.
`If this scheme was implemented, the company could be held responsible, but our politicians are not ready to do it. It`s good at least now they have agreed to the drafting of timetables as a first step,` he said.