The fare hike is inevitable, but TSRTC is still cheaper, faster and safer

Hyderabad: TSRTC would never like to burden its commuters. But, given the current situation, a fare hike is unavoidable. It is inevitable due to the steady increase in diesel price, spare parts and overall cost of operations.

The management does not want to impose a burden on the commuters and at the same time neither can it take the burden.

Though painful, the fare hike is the only way out. As a State-owned corporation on average, we serve about 37 lakh passengers each day and many a time the number has reached 1 Crore a day. We also operate several buses to remote areas as a social responsibility, irrespective of profit and loss, which everyone is aware of.

The TSRTC is a workers’ organisation, nearly 49,000 work for it. We are committed to the welfare of the workers and the convenience of the commuters too and also committed to bail it out of losses and make it profitable. During the lockdown, though the buses were not plying, still we played a major role in transporting Guest Workers, Sanitary workers, Covid Warriors, Medical and Paramedical staff, Law and Order professionals and all other workers who worked for essential services. It is a mammoth task to achieve all these objectives without the support and patronage of its stakeholders. Everyone should promote RTC and strengthen its arms.

Even after getting the nod of the proposed hike of 25 paise and 30 paise on Ordinary and Express services, respectively, from the government, we still happen to be the mode of transportation in India. Cheaper, faster and safer.

The last fare revision was affected in December 2019, but it didn’t help it much because of the complete lockdown in March 2020. Then came the jolt around in April when a second lockdown was imposed. Since then many developments have taken place. The TSRTC could not be functional to its fullest capacity. the public is aware of the problems it faces.

Diesel prices have gone up to 27.5% to 34% since the last fare hike and each day our buses require at least 6.80 lakh litres of diesel.

How Covid has impacted TSRTC-

Total Shutdown of operations:

Central to India’s lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 was a complete shutdown of the transport system.

COVID-19 and public transport:

Even after resuming operations after government restrictions eased out fearing crowd infections, commuters prefered travelling in private modes like two-wheelers. TSRTC witnessed less ridership than the allowed 20 passengers per bus, despite the limited frequencies on many routes. A significant drop in public transport ridership was witnessed for months after the resumption. The TSRTC has taken every possible step to gain the public’s confidence in mass transport modes.

Diesel prices increased:

HSD Oil / Diesel is very important to the transport industry. It uses lakhs of litres of diesel every day. Steady increases in HSD Oil / Diesel prices made huge losses to the Corporation for the last two years. Price increased from Rs.70/- to Rs.94/- from 2019 to 2021, a 34% growth

Manpower cost increased:

The cost of manpower, allowances and salaries have been increasing many times during some years and become expensive.

Sanitization adds additional burden:

Ever since covid hit us, it forced TSRTC to take all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the commuters. This though small added an additional burden on its operations.

Cost of spare parts jumped:

Prices of spare parts have shot up heavily, especially after the covid. Driven by a shortage of raw material and halting of production during the lockdown, forced spare part manufacturers to increase the price. Some manufacturers were forced to pause production. Automotive spare parts have gone up by 60% to offset rising input costs. The cost of spare parts was increased day to day which made it difficult the daily maintenance of vehicles.

Covid loss to TSRTC:

There was a huge loss of revenue (hundreds of crores of rupees) to the Corporation due to buses off-roading in lockdown on account of the Covid pandemic.

TSRTC transported oxygen:

TSRTC staff worked very actively day and night during the Covid pandemic and saved many lives in the Covid crisis by transporting oxygen to needy areas on a priority basis locally & also from Orissa.

Martyrs:

251 of its staff died fighting Covid on Duty.

Vaccination:

100% staff of TSRTC are fully vaccinated and ensure the best possible care

All Road Corporations hiked fares:

TSRTC is no exception. Amid rising diesel prices and losses, almost all Road transport corporations in India have increased their fares.

Given a choice, TSRTC would never like to burden its commuters. But, given the current situation, the fare hike is unavoidable. We request the passengers to cooperate with us for the welfare of the decades-old corporation which is considered as a ‘Lifeline’ to many.


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