Reproduction of Fuel Prices

Published : 10:25 am  March 24, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sarah Muiz

Although bus fares buses, school van fares and meter taxi fares  have been reduced. The extent to which such reductions have been implemented is questionable according to the numerous complaints and dissatisfaction expressed by public transport commuters in general. Speaking to the Daily Mirror several individuals expressed their views regarding the cost levied in public transport and the extent to which measures have been taken to implement bus fare, school van fees and meter taxi reductions. Following are the excerpts:


We are not getting our balance
Jeewan – (University Student from Nugegoda)

“We never get the balance, so it was not very effective of reducing the bus fare from the commuters side.”



Private buses are worse

Wijeratne – (Employer in Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) from Moratuwa) – “Private buses are worse; they do not even issue tickets. Conductors are not well disciplined. When considering the conduct of the drivers and conductors they are disgraceful. Drivers should be more responsible of their driving and conductors should be more polite to passengers  90% of Moratuwa and Panadura buses are not issuing the tickets and they never give the balance.
 Three wheelers have not reduced their charges although petrol prices were reduced.


Ven. Matale Sirinanda Thera- President of the Asarana Sarana Human Rights Transport Association. 

We have held discussions with the Minister of Transport regarding the bus fare charged in semi-luxury buses. For an  example if the bus fare in the public transport amounts to fifty rupees the semi-luxury and super-luxury buses charge a value proportionate to this in terms of seventy five rupees and one hundred rupees respectively. Very often individuals use the public transport in their day today routine but after eight p.m. it is the semi- luxury and super -luxury buses that operate to a large extent. A regular commuter of the public transport might not be able to afford the bus fare levied in a semi- luxury bus on an everyday basis. This is why certain amendments are going to be introduced to the permit that is going to be provided for semi- luxury buses.
According to the amended permit semi- luxury buses will have to operate similar to the public transport. The bus fare levied in semi- luxury buses would be the same as the bus fare would charged in public transport. Still the amendment pertaining to this aspect is ongoing. It must also be noted that despite the number of commuters a semi- luxury or super- luxury bus could carry, it is legally prohibited to carry a number of commuters beyond the number of available seats. Accordingly nobody will be compelled to travel standing in semi- luxury buses anymore. Currently those who object to this mechanism are expecting to hold a protest in front of the Ministry of Transport in near future although the date is not confirmed yet.
Speaking to the media,

Gamunu Wijeratne President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association

said yesterday that when the price of diesel decreased people bought in other vehicles and now they take bicycles and such because it is so much cheaper. We need to find ways to develop the industry.
“Earlier the commuters and the conductors had no change; there wouldn’t be a rupee for the ten they would give. The only solution for this would be to get the prepaid card. We will introduce the card soon. In some days commuters get more change and in some days that it is less, it is the responsibility of the bus conductor to take care that the charge they levy from the commuter is fare,” he said.



The reduced bus fare has not benefited us

Ireshika Randeniya – (University Student from Teldeniya) – “Recently reduced bus fares have not benefited travellers because we are not getting the balance, especially from  private buses.
Comparing to those, air conditional buses are giving the correct balance.”


Bus fares reduced

W.G. Dulanjani – (University Student from Rajagiriya) – “Bus fares were reduced but it benefited commuters on long distance routes because they are getting the proper balances. Short distance passengers never get the balance Rs 1 or Rs. 2 due to lack of change money.


K.Ranaveera –Secretary of the Community Police School Transport Service (Colombo Range)

“Once the diesel prices were increased by thirty three rupees per litre but we ensured that none of our members would increase the school van fees proportionate to this. In case anyone had increased the rate of cost unaware of this decision, we have asked them to cut down five percent off the additional amount charged as school van fees. Since 2009 we have not increased our charges until present. The amount we charge per kilometre is even lesser than five rupees. As a society that is affiliated to the Government we have contributed a lot to the public since we provide a service to a rate at which no any other transport service would go. If we have to increase the school van charges the society arrives at a decision only after consulting the parents as we are employed more as a means of welfare service to the public and not as money hunting scavengers. Despite this, it has been reported that the All Island Inter District School Transport Service has increased their school van charges and a few private school van services also have increased their charges similarly.”


Nihal Madapatha- President of Madapatha Meter Taxi
We should give the commuters some relief. This is more like a social welfare service. The government should make some form of arrangement to ensure that three-wheeler fares are reasonable.
Three- wheeler drivers also have financial problems. Despite this we are providing service at a very low rate, purely for the benefit of the client. I give first priority to the customer, then the employee and then himself.
There are some drivers who do go at higher rates, but this would be unfair by the customer.