CHENNAI: Even as passengers complained about manifold increase in ticket fares during festival season, Transport Minister SS Sivasankar on Tuesday said that passengers book tickets on Omnibuses knowing well its high fares as they don't want to travel in the transport corporation-operated buses.
After holding a meeting with the Omnibus owners at the Commissionerate of the State Transport Authority and Road Safety here, he said that omnibus ticket fares won't affect the poor and ordinary people, who travel in the transport corporation buses.
He said that when 947 omnibuses were checked for excess collection of fares, only 97 passengers complained of fares. "Majority of the passengers did not complain as they travelled knowing very well the fares and facilities offered. They book the tickets through the app knowing the fares. Poor and ordinary people are not affected due to high fares on the omnibuses. They are travelling in the corporation buses and we are operating additional buses for them," he said.
The meeting was held in the wake of the ensuing festival season and to avoid passengers' complaints of exorbitant ticket fares.
"To prevent such complaints during the Puja and Deepavali holidays, we held a discussion today. Omnibus owners said that they operated various types of buses like seater, semi sleeper, sleeper, AC buses and Volvo buses for which fares are fixed according to the type of buses. They recently announced maximum fares for Omni buses for various routes. We asked them to fix fares in such a way that there would not be passenger complaints," he said.
The minister noted that Transport Corporation buses are operated without hiking the fares despite the steep increase in diesel prices and losses suffered during Covid.
"Omnibus owners are running a business. One should not compare the corporation bus fares with the Omni buses. They will discuss among themselves reducing the bus fares," he said.
To a question on owners’ fixed fare was as high as Rs 4,500, he said that he would reduce the fares in a day or two. "They will fix a fare to run their business. They are not doing a service," he added.