2-km fare for shorter stretches

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Unknown to them, thousands of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) bus commuters are shelling out extra. The travel 'stages', the distance on which fare is based are in numerous cases much shorter than the stipulated 2 km.

The recent fare hike by PMPML makes the transport body among city bus services in the country that charge the highest fares, and the shorter stages take it higher.

Since the latest fare hike on September 28, for first stage a commuter pays Rs 5, and for each subsequent stage an additional Rs 1 or 2.

Officially the distance between the two "full (bus) stops" which comprise a stage, is 2 km. But in reality, in many cases, this is much shorter. There are several stages where this distance is only 600 metre. Numerous other stages exist with distance ranging between 800 metre and 1,600 metre.

"There are about 332 PMPML routes and almost each will have have some such stage that are shorter than the stipulated 2 km. Commuters have to pay additional money unnecessarily. This is cheating and the transport body has been doing that for years. They are just not bothered about fairness and transparency," said Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch.

On Sunday, Newsline measured the length of some stages. On route number 28 (Bharati Vidyapeeth to Pune University) Sheti Mahamandal to Shivaji Housing Society (on Senapati Bapat Road) the stage is only 600 metres. On the same road on route 25 (Upper Indira Nagar to Pune University) the distance between Bhandarkar Institute to Shetimahamandal is only 1.1 km. On route 25 (Upper Depot to Pune University) the stage Suvarnarekha Hall (Prabhat Road) to Bhandarkar Institute is 700 metre. On route 21 (Swargate to Sangvi) the distance between the full stops Pune University to Sind Colony is 1.8 km.

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