With physical classes resuming in the state for most of the school students, parents now face an additional financial burden in the form of an increase in school transportation fees in view of a jump in fuel prices.
Schools are likely to increase transportation costs by an estimated 20% for the second half of the academic year citing a sharp jump in CNG prices, which are up by 30% since October. Private transporters providing transport services to school children via rickshaws, vans, or buses are also mulling a hike in the transportation fees.
The school transport services were largely shut since March last year as schools had shifted to online teaching mode because of the pandemic. It is only since July that physical teaching has resumed in schools.
“Increasing transportation fee is inevitable because of the steep hike in prices of CNG as well as petrol and diesel in recent months. We offer transportation as a service and not to make a profit, but we can’t offer the service while incurring a loss,” said an official of a top school in Ahmedabad, requesting anonymity.
Dharmendra Brahmbhatt, who heads the school rickshaw drivers association in Ahmedabad, said they plan to have a meeting this week to discuss the issue of fare revision.
In Ahmedabad and also other parts of Gujarat, CNG prices have been hiked by up to 30% since last month. Earlier this month, the government approved a hike in passenger auto-rickshaw fares due to fuel price rise.