Irked over the increase in fuel prices, private bus operators have threatened to launch a countrywide strike if the Government does not approve a fare hike for them.
Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President, Gemunu Wijeratne told Ceylon Today that the association will be forced to cease services from 17 May, if the Government does not approve a proper increase in bus fares.
“We requested an increase of more than 10% from the National Transport Commission (NTC) and they promised us a final decision by Wednesday (16). If they don’t increase bus fares by more than 10 per cent, we will take our buses off the roads from Thursday. There is no other alternative available,” Wijeratne said.
He added that following the recent fuel price hike, private bus owners suffer a daily loss between Rs 700 and 800.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Provincial Private Bus Operators’ Association and the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners’ Federation, called on the Government to increase the bus fare by 20 per cent. Both organizations, issuing press communiqués yesterday, claimed that if their demands are not met, an island-wide bus strike will be launched from midnight Wednesday.
The trade unions have made a request to increase the minimum fare from Rs 10 to Rs 15 from 15 May.