Intercity bus fares hiked ahead of Eid holiday
Eid al-Fitr is one of the busiest times for coach companies as literally millions of people hit the roads to visit relatives or for a short vacation.
As oil prices increased, coach companies passed their rising costs onto travelers, hiking fares between 50 to 70 percent.
Not only bus fares but also plane tickets rose around the same range.
Eid al-Fitr will mark the first major break from work and schools this year and more people are likely to travel compared to the past two years as the pandemic situation has improved significantly.
A one-way ticket from Istanbul to the tourist hotspots İzmir, Antalya and the Bodrum district of Muğla will cost between 350 (around $24) and 500 Turkish Liras.
Round-trip ticket prices between Istanbul and İzmir for bus and plane are 700 liras and 1,200 liras, respectively. The cost of traveling to Antalya will be 760 liras and 1,400 liras. Coach companies will charge at least 1,000 for a round-trip ticket between Istanbul and Bodrum, while the price goes up to 760 liras for a bus trip to Antalya and 1,400 liras for plane tickets.
Those, who plan on taking a bus from Istanbul to Ankara, will have to pay at least 700 liras. The high-speed train appears to be a more affordable option on this route. But due to its popularity, it is difficult to find a round-trip ticket, which costs only 261 liras.
“This year, people ditch their private cars for buses and planes to travel because of high gasoline prices,” said Birol Özcan, the head of the Bus Operators’ Association (TOFED).
Due to strong demand, 80 percent of bus tickets for the Eid holiday have already been sold, Özcan said, noting that they will seek permission from authorities to launch additional intercity coach services. Özcan does not expect bus prices to go higher.