Bus commuters were taken in by surprise when the three public transport providers in the state of Kuwait recently hiked their fares.
There are three public bus companies operating public transport service in the state of Kuwait namely KPTC, City Bus and KGL.
Here are the revised fares:
|Old Fare in fils
||New Fare in fils
Here’s what one of the resident ‘Nasr‘ said, “Am getting KD120 salary and my work is two shifts. As usually I prefer both City Bus and KPTC for travel. I cannot go for bus pass because of timing. Some times we need to wait long time for particular bus if we have taken bus pass. That’s why I am travelling both buses. Now increasing fare to 250 fils will affect us much. It means I should spend 1KD a day and KD30 in a month. Food and accommodation costs around 40KD, Calling charges to india and local around 3KD, sometimes go to medical check up cost KD1. (120-30-40-3-1) = KD46. Can you please INCREASE our salary or please reduce bus fare?”The hike comes after quite an interval of few years and were justified by these companies to improve their services. However, the ordinary expatriates who mainly uses their services could be heard voicing their protests after being implied to pay the additional price.
These residents who earn very meagre salaries have to balance it between their daily living expenses as well as support their families back home.
Salaries have recently been appraised for all the employees in the public sector. Employees in this sector also receive a lot of other privileges in the form of subsidies and other handout from the government. However in the private sector, where the majority of the expatriates are employed, do not have these luxuries and have to bear the brunt of price hikes.
The government has promised to keep the prices under close control but that did not prevent the bakalas (local grocery stores) from increasing their prices.
There are talks about taxation too but that hopefully will not affect the ordinary residents but only professionals earning above four figure salaries.
Meanwhile there’s an appeal by the commuters to the public transport providers to improve their services.
The ac’s on board these buses rarely function well and the public have no option but to bear the sweltering heat of the summer in these buses. Also the seats are not comfortable in City Bus given the fact that these are plastic bucket seats that have no cushioning whatsoever. On the older model buses that do have cushioning, they are grimy and don’t be surprised if you bring home some guests (bedbugs) in the evening. It would be good if all the buses had some form of tinting on the windows or if the grimy curtains were washed regularly. How about the bus stands on the highways, please provide clean shaded stands especially at major areas populated by expats. Lastly please do find a solution about the young local Bedouin boys who smoke in the buses and disturb/harass the passengers.
A suggestion: You could probably earn additional revenue if you have advertising billboards inside the buses. These could be in electronic or print form. This could add to your revenues which you use to further improve services.
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