Pune Private Bus Fares Spike Up to 30% Amid Vacation Rush

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Pune, 27th April 2024: With summer vacation in full swing, private bus operators have implemented fare hikes ranging from 25% to 30% on numerous routes, leaving travelers feeling the pinch.

Aditi Rao, who recently embarked on a bus journey to Hyderabad, expressed dismay at the steep increase in fares. “I had to shell out Rs. 1,800 for a seat, a significant jump from the Rs. 1,200 I paid previously,” lamented Rao, citing the challenges of securing train reservations and the unaffordable airfares as reasons for opting for bus travel.

Baba Shinde, president of Maharashtra Rajya Malak and Pravasi Vahtuk Sanghatna, acknowledged the fare hike amidst the surge in passenger traffic during the vacation season. “While advising transporters to refrain from imposing exorbitant fares, we urge them to adhere to regulations and ensure passengers are not unduly burdened,” stated Shinde.

Sources attribute the fare hike to the scarcity of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses operating from Pune. An MSRTC official highlighted the overwhelming demand, especially with only 875 buses available to serve passengers traveling to destinations like Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh.

A private sector employee planning a trip to Ahmedabad with his wife expressed frustration at the exorbitant fares. “We had to shell out Rs. 4,000 for two AC sleeper tickets on a luxury bus, marking a staggering 60% increase,” he shared.

According to Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials, private buses are permitted to increase fares up to 50% of those charged by MSRTC buses operating on the same route and in the same category.

Sanjiv Bhor, Pune’s Regional Transport Officer, assured that authorities would investigate reports of overcharging and urged passengers to report grievances via designated channels such as a dedicated WhatsApp number (8275330101) and email ([email protected]), which would be promptly reactivated if inactive.