Omni bus ticket fare for Deepavali weekends skyrockets in Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) will ply 40 more buses on October 1 and 2 to southern districts, owing to the rush

Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) will ply 40 more buses on October 1 and 2 to southern districts, owing to the rush

Owing to the festive season, several Omni bus services are already burning a hole in travellers’ pockets by charging double the normal rates.

Several passengers at the Coimbatore Omni Bus Terminus here said exorbitant rates had been charged by the buses to Chennai, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Erode, Madurai, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, and Bengaluru from the city.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) will ply 40 more buses on October 1 and 2 to southern districts, owing to the rush. A senior official from the commercial section of TNSTC said the fares would remain the same as the everyday charges, for both non-A/C and A/C services. He said that based on demand, other cities will also add return buses to the district.

A travel agency in Gandhipuram here said, “For non-AC seater, we charge ₹600 usually, but on special weekends, we charge ₹950 to Chennai. For an AC seater, on weekdays it is ₹700, and on long weekends, like the upcoming puja holidays, it goes to a minimum of ₹1,150 depending on the rush.”

Another Gandhipuram-based travel agent said it would cost ₹899 if a person booked a seat via apps or websites, to go to Chennai in an AC sleeper class seat. “But we rarely get clients online. If they approach agencies directly, the same will be ₹1,200, depending on the rush. On September 30 or October 1, the fares may go up to ₹1,500. Rates start from ₹2,000 online during Deepavali weekends. If the customer asks for a seat at the stops, the broker or conductor will charge ₹100-₹200 more than the online rate.”

A Joint Regional Transport Office official said the State Transport Commissioner would issue a circular on monitoring the price hike on long weekends. “If we find there is an unreasonable increase, say over ₹500, we will book a case against the bus operators and have them refund the full ticket fare to the customers,” he said.

Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause K. Kathirmathiyon said, “The government currently has no mechanism to control the fare as they have not fixed any minimum or maximum rate for Omni buses. They penalise the operators for high rates during weekends or festive seasons, but many buses charge high tariffs even on normal low-traffic days. Rules should be formed by the transport department to stop this.”

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