By Olindhi Jayasundere
The Government will not permit private bus operators to increase their bus fares under any conditions despite requests to increase the fares, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama told the Daily Mirror.
Minister Welgama further said that he was not informed of a request to increase bus fares and will not change it under any circumstances.
“The private bus operators earlier this year promised they would not request a hike in bus fares. I am not bothered about any changes that they want to make. Even if they want to change the bus rates we will ensure that the CTB fares will remain the same,” Minister Welgama said.
Meanwhile, the Private Bus Operators Association said today the association demanded a two percent increase from the Transport Ministry and the National Transport Board a week ago but they have not received a response yet. The association’s President, Gemunu Wijeyratne said the association will take legal action if their request is not met.
“According to our transport policy we are allowed to increase bus fares by two percent. We are in dire need of a hike in fares because the ministry has not given a proper timetable for the bus routes. Due to this there is far more traffic and fuel consumption is very high. However, they have not taken any measure to resolve this issue which is why we are demanding an increase in bus fares,” he said.