No reduction of bus, trishaw fares despite fuel price drop | Sunday Observer

No reduction of bus, trishaw fares despite fuel price drop

Bus and three-wheeler fares are likely to remain the same despite the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) further reducing fuel prices.

The CPC reduced prices of petrol (Octane 92/95) and Auto and Super Diesel, for the third time in a month, by Rs. 5 from Friday midnight.

A litre of 92 Octane is priced at Rs. 135, a litre of 95 Octane is Rs. 159, while a litre Auto Diesel is Rs. 106 and Super Diesel Rs. 131. There is no change in Kerosene prices. The global crude oil price is US$ 60 per barrel.

Bus and three-wheeler unions claim that the fares will not be rolled back as the dollar rate is still high.

“It is very hard to reduce bus fares. We need at least a four percent drop of diesel prices to consider a cutback. The latest decease is only 3.3 percent,” Lanka Private Bus Owners Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said.

He said the depreciation of the rupee is affecting the bus industry. The rupee depreciated by 15.1 percent against the US dollar.

“Buses are not only operated on fuel. Spare parts and other equipment are expensive. We have to seriously consider if we can reduce bus fares,” Wijeratne said.

The All Ceylon Private Bus Association told the Sunday Observer that they will arrive at a final decision on bus fare reduction after a discussion with the National Transport Commission next week.

All Island Three-Wheeler Drivers’ Association President Sudhil Jayaruk said no revision will be made to three-wheeler fares because the country’s economy is not steady.

All Island Three-Wheeler Drivers’ Union President Lalith Dharmasekara said there needs to be a proper three-wheeler controlling body and a price formula to make changes to the fares.

The lack of a proper mechanism is affecting the industry, he said adding that three-wheeler fares will not be reduced even though the fuel prices have decreased. The first kilometre is Rs. 60 and a kilometre from the second is between Rs. 42-45. Only the Self Employed Three-Wheeler Drivers Union has so far decided to reduce the minimum fare by Rs. 10.