Pune : School bus owners in Pune are planning to hike fees by 15-20% from June 2023. The decision comes as a result of increased expenses incurred by the owners, including rising fuel prices and the cost of buying new buses.
Deepak Kalapure, President, Pimpri Chinchwad Bus Owner’s Association, said, “The fee hike will be around 15%. During the Covid period, for two years, the buses were not in use, but thereafter we had not made any fee hike. However, the cost for buying new buses, prices of fuel have increased significantly, therefore we have decided to increase the fee from the new academic year.”
Kiran Desai, from the Pune Bus Owner’s Association, added that the hike will depend on the distance travelled, ranging from 0-2 km, 0-4 km, 0-6 km, etc. “The reason behind the hike is that the insurance premiums have increased, new vehicles have become expensive, tyres, drivers, gas cylinders, all expenses have increased. Therefore, we are planning to do a fee hike. The decision of fee hike will be discussed with the State level Committee, and then a final decision will be made,” said Desai.
However, the proposed hike has caused concern among parents. Jayashree Deshpande, President of the Parents Association of Pune, said, “From the last two to three years, due to Covid, there was no hike made in the school bus fees. But if they are making the fee hike, they must decide it with the state committee and also consider other aspects such as drivers should drive properly, they should have licenses, and a bond should be made with the school.”