CHENNAI: Amid the huge hue and cry over omnibuses fleecing passengers during the festival and long holidays, the All Omni Bus Owners Association has fixed minimum and maximum fares for various types of buses for all the destinations to prevent overcharging passengers.
"Transport department officials should take action against any bus owners who are collecting high fares than the maximum fare fixed by the association," said the association general secretary A Anbazhagan.
Anbazhagan said that there are seven types of omnibuses - non-AC seater, AC seater, non-AC sleeper, AC sleeper, premium sleeper, Volvo/Scania multi-axle seater and sleeper. “The fares are fixed based on the capital investment and operation cost for every route. If an ordinary bus cost Rs 40 lakh, a multi-axle Volvo cost Rs 1.70 crore. So a flat fare cannot be fixed for all types of buses operating on the same route. Moreover, the fare cannot be fixed for the omnibuses under the Motor Vehicles Act, ” he said.
Omnibuses were accused of collecting exorbitant fares from passengers during the weekends and festivals. The association has fixed a maximum fare for Chennai-Madurai on branded sleeper bus at Rs 2,000 while the bus tickets for October 1 (Saturday) were sold at Rs 3,300. The fare for Chennai-Coimbatore is sold at Rs 3,500 for October 1 as against the fare fixed by the association is Rs 2,160.
Pointing out that the bus fares are fixed based on a dynamic faring system, he said that when the demand is less, the ticket price would be less and bus fare would be more when the demand is high. “Passengers book their tickets online knowing well the fares. So no passengers are cheated. To avoid disrepute to the omnibus sector and the government, all the associations have jointly fixed maximum fares for all the destinations. The transport officials should take action on bus owners collecting exorbitant fares than the maximum fares by the associations,” he said.
He said that all owners were advised not to charge more than these charges in the coming festival seasons. “During the previous festival also, as per the instructions of the Minister of Transport, action was taken against the buses which charged excessive fares through the Transport officials,” he said.