The meeting between the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), transport entrepreneurs and traffic police decided to open the booking of bus tickets for Dashain from September 22.
Though transport entrepreneurs had been seeking a hike in public transportation fare prior to opening the booking of bus tickets for the festive season, DoTM said that bus ticket bookings will be opened based on the current transportation fare.
“We had been refusing to review transportation fare before Dashain. At the meeting , transport entrepreneurs too agreed not to revise the fare before the festive season,” said Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at DoTM. He informed that the government will, however,review public transportation fare based on the scientific fare determination mechanism of the government after the festive season.
Similarly, the meeting has also decided to set up help desks across 14 different places in Kathmandu Valley to facilitate festive travellers. Along with this, DoTM has also formed a central monitoring committee under the coordination of the department’s Director General Hamal to ease the festive movement of vehicles and people as well as control possible anomalies in transportation fare during Dashain.
Acording to Saroj Sitaula, general secretary at Federation of Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs, ” Transport entrepreneurs have agreed to open booking of bus tickets from the given date following assurance from the government to review public transportation fare after festive season and upgrade quality of road network across the country”.
Again he added“It is the responsibility of transport entrepreneurs to assure that booking of bus tickets is opened on time. However, it is equally important that the government reviews public transportation fare in line with the market inflation and also upgrade the quality of roads across the country”.
Basically, the public transportation fare is reviewed based on the price of fuel and non-fuel items like vehicle cost, price of spare parts, labour cost, price of tyres and lubricants. Transport entrepreneurs have been claiming that price of both fuel and non-fuel items has increased in recent months while the government is reluctant to raise the transportation fare.
Department of Transport Management had raised public transportation fare by 20 per cent in June citing the rise in price of fuel and other non-fuel components that are taken into consideration while determining public transportation fare. However, the government had immediately rolled back the decision under direction from the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.