Travelers look at alternatives to book tickets.
Bangalore, April 11, 2019: Ahead of Karnataka’s polling days, April 18 and April 23, private bus operators are charging excess fares from passengers traveling from Bengaluru to other cities. Passengers have complained to the transport authorities, but the operators have refused to decrease fares.
“It is unfair to charge more than the usual during long weekends. I have a four-day holiday the next weekend and was planning to travel to my hometown. But to my surprise, I realized the fare from Bengaluru to Mangaluru has been raised to Rs 1,499 from Rs 800,” Ayush, an Accenture employee and regular passenger, informed The Observer.
Anjali M, a civil engineering student and regular traveler from Bangalore to Belagavi, said: “I don’t mind paying more to private bus operators if there is a logical reason for increasing the fare over the poll weekend.”
The operators are also accused of charging exorbitant amounts around festivals.
Krithika Gowda, a student who regularly commutes from Bengaluru to Tamil Nadu, said: “The fare is more during festivals and long weekends. This festive season, they are charging Rs 1,960 for a one way trip to Tamil Nadu.”
The transport commissioner has directed officials concerned to book cases against private bus operators for overcharging.
Anjan S, a regular traveler to Kochi, complained: “They don’t state a valid reason for exorbitant fares and try to avoid the topic. Moreover, there is no use complaining to officials.”
Many passengers head to websites like Redbus in for better price than those quoted by private operators.
“Initially, I used to visit my native place a lot during weekends by private buses. Now I choose websites like Redbus to book tickets because they are much cheaper than VRL,” said N. Jaganath, who travels to Wayanad.
Veena Kumari, who travels from Bengaluru to Udupi, said: “It is better to book tatkal tickets on trains than shell out more to private bus operators.”
According to a New Indian Express report, transport commissioner VP Ikkeri has said: “During special occasions and long weekends, prices of the tickets are often increased by private bus operators. Passengers who come across such cases can reach our authorities by phone or email. We will levy a penalty, and if needed, their permit can be suspended too.”