Demand for bus fare hike rejected

Bus station in Colombo Fort

Minister of Transport Services Management Mahinda Amaraweera says the government will not permit private bus operators to increase bus fares in any manner at present.

The Transport Minister said if the present income is insufficient for private bus operators, alternatives will be provided. Issuing a statement, the Subject Ministry said health authorities have pointed out that public transport can be a major factor to the spread of COVID-19.

Minister Amaraweera said therefore permission will be granted for passenger transport services to function while strictly adhering to guidelines issued by health authorities.

The Minister added he is prepared to hold discussions with transport unions pertaining to any concerns. Bus operators have requested permission to increase bus fares by one-and-a-half-fold as the standard fares, claiming their income is insufficient.

However, the statement issued by the Subject Ministry said unions had agreed not to increase bus fares amidst the pandemic, during talks held with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently.

(Source: News Radio)