Private bus owners urged the government today to either reduce the price of diesel from Rs.84 to Rs.76 a litre or increase bus fares as private buses incurred a daily loss of Rs.15 million since last week’s price increase.
Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) President Gemunu Wijeyratne said the Rs.8 increase could be detrimental to the bus service as it was a heavy cost to bear.
He said to ensure that bus travel was affordable to commuters, bus fares should be kept at a reasonable level and therefore diesel prices should be reduced.
“We do not want to burden the people by increasing bus fares which is why we are asking the government to reduce the price of diesel. If this cannot be done then we have no choice but to demand an increase in bus fares,” Mr. Wijeyratne said. He said buses utilised 20 per cent of the country’s diesel consumption and requested the government to sell diesel at the previous price.
Mr. Wijeratne said bus owners have asked the government to maintain the price of diesel at Rs.76 a litre until April next year and called on the government to make changes to the bus fares in July next year when the annual reviewing of bus fares take place.
The bus fares were increased in July this year with a 7.6 per cent increase while the minimum fare was raised from Rs.6 to 7. (Olindhi Jayasundere)