PMPML airport buses subject to un-fare hike

A decade-old notification (MVA 0604-1328-CR-75-TRA 2) by the state government, dated December 20, 2005, had fixed the maximum fares that can be charged by a stage carriage. For a distance of 22 km, the charge is Rs 30 and for 32 km, it’s Rs 42. The notification also allows a surcharge of 150 per cent in case of AC service. “Therefore, the maximum fare that should be charged legally by PMPML is Rs 75 for its AC AirportKothrud route and Rs 105 for the Airport-Hinjewadi route. However, they are charging an exorbitant rate of Rs 120 for the Kothrud service and Rs 180 for the Hinjewadi service. We have demanded that PMPML seek legal opinion on the matter and revise the fares accordingly,“ said Ranjit Gadgil, programme director at the NGO Parisar.

The complaint letter has been sent along with a copy of the government resolution. This rule is applicable for all public transport services. Apart from PMPML, BEST also has an AC bus service for various routes. It is found that they are charging fares ranging from Rs 80 to Rs 115 for a 1432 km distances.

The PMPML had flagged off its AC bus service to bring back some charm into the dilapidated state of the buses. It was a public private partnership (PPP) service for the airport route.Even though the Pune airport has been rated as the tenth busiest airport in the country, its connectivity with the city was very poor. The PMPML had a bus service from Deccan Gymkhana, but that was rather inconvenient and not up to the mark. Therefore, PMPML authorities introduced two new routes leading to the airport, one from Kothrud and the other from Hinjewadi. The buses have been provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Jugal Rathi, president of Pune Pravasi Manch, said, “On behalf of the commuters, we have also de manded a revision of the PMPML airport bus fare. The transport body should also take other measures to improve the service. There is a need to publicise the service by displaying prominent boards at the airport entrance and exit gates, all departure and arrival terminals -with exact details of the airport bus terminus location and map -apart from prominently displaying helpline numbers and bus numbers at the terminals and main bus stops.“

A senior PMPML official told Mirror on condition of anonymity, “The airport bus service was allotted by floating tenders. It has been implemented on the PPP model. The contract was given to the lowest bid, which was Rs 120 (22 kms) and Rs 180 (32 kms). During the festive season, a 50 per cent discount was given for this service. We have received the complaint letter. This issue will be considered in the upcoming meeting.“
Source Pune Mirror

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