Fuel price cut insufficient to reduce fares – operators

The reduction of domestic fuel prices was not adequate to reduce their fares significantly, say three-wheeler driver/owners and van operators in Colombo.

All island three-wheeler drivers association (ATWA) president Sudil Dilruk told The Sunday Times that following the reduction in fuel prices a few three-wheeler drivers had reduced their fares by around five rupees per kilometre.

He said that instead of reducing their fares, the ATWA had requested the President to grant low interest loan facilities to convert their vehicles to run on LPG.

He said that the procedure which will cost around Rs.30, 000 per three-wheeler would cut fuel costs by half while commuters will be able to enjoy relatively low prices for journeys.

“The President has already agreed to grant us the facilities we need to implement this project. We have spoken to an Italian company which is willing to do the conversion at a low price,” he said.

The Sunday Times learns that van owners too would not consider a reduction in their fares. Meanwhile, the revised bus fares are to come into effect from Tuesday.

The National Transport Commission on Friday reduced the bus fares after the Budget proposals for 2009 were presented. Accordingly the minimum bus fare would be reduced from Rs. 7 to Rs. 6.
A senior Railways Department official said that the revised train fares were being worked out and a fare reduction could be expected this week.

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