Bus ticket prices surpass airfares amid Eid, summer holidays

With the start of summer vacation and the approach of Eid al-Adha, the prices of intercity bus tickets in Türkiye have surpassed those of air tickets, sparking a debate on social media.

Recent data shows that a bus ticket from Istanbul to the western province of Muğla on June 1 costs 1,500 Turkish Liras, while a flight from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Muğla is priced at 550 liras. Similarly, on June 10, a bus ticket costs 1,250 liras compared to a 900-lira flight.

Mustafa Yıldırım, the president of the Buses Federation (TOF),explained that bus companies submit their prices to the Ministry of Transportation every four months. Companies that anticipated fuel hikes received approval for higher prices, which are typically applied during peak times such as holidays.

Social media has been abuzz with complaints about the high prices of bus tickets, especially as they surpass airfares. Yıldırım stated that the increasing fuel prices, highway and bridge tolls and commission cuts from ticket sales are reflected in the prices. He emphasized that while high prices are applied during busy periods, discounts are available during off-peak times.

“For a bus trip from Istanbul to Izmir, drivers pay 70 liras per passenger for highway and bridge fees, along with personnel costs, fuel expenses and commissions on internet ticket sales, which can reach up to 13 percent,” he said.

Comparing transportation costs, Yıldırım highlighted that the prices of bus tickets are currently higher than airplane tickets, reversing the usual trend seen worldwide.

Emin Özkan, a bus driver on intercity trips, also noted that the cost of round-trip fuel to some provinces is around 30,000 liras, making it difficult to compete with airline prices. In addition, bus operators are struggling to survive as airplanes carry 500 passengers at a time as opposed to 30 passengers on a bus.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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