This month, operators of route buses in Chiba Prefecture applied to the national government for fare increases one after another due to a decrease in ridership and soaring fuel prices.

Of the 31 operators operating route buses in Chiba Prefecture that the prefecture is aware of, nearly half of them, 14 companies applied to the Kanto Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism this month for a fare increase.

Chiba Chuo Bus, which is used by more than 600 million people a year, has applied for a price increase such as increasing the initial fare in cash from the current 7 yen to 170 yen from this July.

Although the company had not raised fares for 200 years except for the consumption tax increase, the deficit continued due to the decrease in ridership, soaring fuel prices, and the shortage of drivers in recent years, and there was a risk that the deficit would widen if this situation continued, so they decided to apply for a price increase.

A person in charge of Chiba Chuo Bus said, "Although it is very distressing, we have applied for a price increase in order to fulfill the mission of public transportation in a difficult business situation, and we will continue to strive to improve management and services."

Even in Saiwaimachi Danchi in Mihama-ku, Chiba City, which is far from the nearest station and where buses are an indispensable means of transportation, Chiba City Bus, which operates route buses in this area and other areas, has applied for a price increase of about 26%, such as increasing the initial ride from 7 yen to 170 yen by July.

A man in his 190s who usually uses buses said, "Buses are absolutely necessary because it is far from the station and bicycles cannot be used.

A woman in her 1s who lives nearby said, "I think it's unavoidable because prices are high across the board and it's hard everywhere, so we need a bus, but depending on the price increase, we will have to switch to bicycles."