Bus fares in the state were hiked following Kerala Cabinet's nod on Wednesday. While the minimum charge will remain Rs 8, the minimum travel distance has been reduced from five kilometres to 2.5 kilometres. The rate for a kilometre would range from 70 paise to 90 paise.
The new rates will remain effective until coronavirus cases subside in the state.
The development comes amid demands from bus operators and crew who are facing a severe financial crisis after being unable to ply their buses during the first two months of the lockdown. The petrol and diesel prices too have seen a significant hike lately.
In a span of just three weeks, petrol price have been hikes 21 times and diesel price 22 times. The cumulative increase totals to Rs 9.17 for petrol and Rs 11.14 for diesel. Petrol now costs Rs 80.89 and diesel Rs 76.54 in Kerala.
The bus operators had also brought to the attention that a 30 per cent drop in passengers too was noticed even after restrictions were eased.
Though the government had earlier allowed bus operators to double the fare since it wanted them to run services with only 50 per cent capacity to ensure social distancing among passengers, it rolled back the fare hike as more restrictions were eased.