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Bus fare talks deadlocked

The revision of bus fares will most probably take effect from July 1 but it is not possible to increase the basic fare from Rs.6 to Rs.10 as demanded by some private bus operators, Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayaka said yesterday.

He said he met representatives of private bus owners and officials of the Transport Ministry and the National Transport Commission (NTC) but the talks ended in a stalemate.“I cannot decide on bus fares on my own because some 17,000 buses come under the purview of the provincial councils while only some 3,000 buses come under my purview. Therefore, a bus fare revision must come with the consensus of all stakeholders,” the minister said.

He said a crucial meeting to arrive at a final decision would be held on June 17 with the participation of all provincial chief ministers, chief secretaries, the Transport Ministry, NTC and the Private Transport Ministry and private bus operators. 

Meanwhile Lanka Private Bus Operators Association Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said bus fare should be increased by 15 per cent with the minimum fare increased by two rupees.

“We try our best not to resort to trade union action. But if we were pushed to the edge we will have no other option but to take our buses off the roads,” he said adding that bus fares should have been earlier increased by five per cent in keeping with the national transport policy approved by the Supreme Court but the NTC failed to do so.


Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2011 @ 08:48:51 LKT


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