Private bus operators have threatened to launch an island-wide strike if a new bus fare chart is not provided to them by 26 September.
Chairman of the Sri Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (SLPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne said with the rise in fuel prices, his association had, on the 11th, requested Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for a fare hike. The President too was informed that bus fares should be increased commensurate with the fuel price hike.
Meanwhile, the Samastha Lanka Private Bus Owners Federation warned that no matter what pressure is exerted, the bus fares will be increased by 10 per cent.
However, the National Transport Commission pointed out that vis-a-vis the fuel price increase, the bus fares cannot be increased in excess of 4 per cent. While the government and the passenger bus associations are waging a tug of war , the commuters lamented , following the bus fare revision in May , because the conductors do not give the balance of one rupee and two rupees to the commuters , the bus conductors are having an additional income of Rs 500 to Rs. 600 daily . Yet the Bus association , the Transport authority or the National Transport commission has not taken any measures on behalf of the aggrieved passengers.
The Transport Commission has for the last 11 years failed even to provide season tickets to the commuters , the bus commuters bemoaned.
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