TU contradicts FM’s claim of the loss of Rs 59 / km from buses
K Arumuga Nainar, general secretary of the workers’ union of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), affiliated with CITU, said the finance minister mentioned that the cost per kilometer incurred by all STUs is Rs 96.75 as of now, while the recovery of Les STUs is only 37.60 per km, resulting in a loss of Rs 59.15 per km.
“Officials provided incorrect data to the minister. The cost per kilometer of a bus would be Rs 60 to Rs 62 while the income was Rs 37 per km. The loss per km ranges from Rs 18 to Rs 20 per km. The running cost may have increased by a Rs one or two due to the rising price of diesel, but it did not reach Rs 96 per km. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, revenues have been lower due to the drop in passenger attendance, ”he said.
The company was suffering losses due to the operation of city buses for the benefit of the public, he said, adding that a long distance bus operated from Chennai to Trichy would get a collection of Rs 20,000 from 50 passengers traveling a distance of 300 km while a city bus traveling 300 km in two shifts would not get more than Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 carrying 700 passengers. “City buses were operated for the benefit of the public regardless of profit with low fares. The government should support the transport companies with a budgetary allowance for the loss incurred for the operation of the services, ”he demanded.
Nainar noted that the 2018 fare review resulted in a sharp drop in passenger attendance. “About 60 lakh passengers stopped making the daily commute on the company’s buses after the fare hikes. It also led to lower incomes, ”he said.