Rail Run

The Railway Dept. says it urgently needs to hike its fares to cushion a 10 percent rise in its recurrent costs. The Railway Dept. says it urgently needs to hike its fares to cushion a 10 percent rise in its recurrent costs. A raised salary bill and higher fuel cost compared to a year ago will raise its recurrent costs by 10 percent to 15 percent Railway officials told Lanka Business Online.

A fare hike will in no way bring its recurrent cost on par with revenue, but would help cushion the financial burden.

At the moment, rail fares are also well below cost with ticket prices coming to 31 cents per passenger kilometre compared to the cost of Rs. 1.16.

Bus fares are at 63 cents per passenger kilometre with costs down at 57 cents.

A fare hike proposal was sent to the Transport Ministry for approve over two months ago, but is yet to get the green light, say Railway officials.

A flat zonal rate system has been proposed to increase revenues and productivity in the ailing Railways.

The Department was now printing tickets for rides between 325 stations, with a separate ticket for travel be