The bus fare revision, much awaited for by bus operators, is finally here. The government has accepted the fare revision which will come into effect on November 1.
The Information and Communications Minister, Lyonpo D N Dhungyel said the revision will not have a major impact people as it is likely to increase by 5% -6% for the inter-dzongkhag bus service.
Lyonpo said the ministry took a while to accept the fare revision proposal due to the fluctuating price of the fuel, both current and future, and the fuel business being the volatile one as the price in India determines the price in Bhutan.
On the part of the bus operators, they say it is a necessity to increase the fare. The owner and bus operator of Meto Transport, Pema Thinley, said if the fare revision was not made then the business would have died out.
He said bus operators run a business concerned with service delivery, and without the fare revision, such service delivery would have been affected. He also said the accident risk of buses have reduced by 90% due to the efficient service.
He highlighted the challenges faced by bus operators, like the increase in fuel price, increased price of maintenance and spare parts, and the recent 100% increase charge for the emission test, earlier charged Nu 100.
He said they had submitted their proposal for fare revision to the Road Safety and Transport Authority six months ago, which was then forwarded to the Ministry of Information and Communications.