Utilization of passenger transport subsidy in Kolkata: A case study of Calcutta State Transport Corporation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - subsidy, place - asia, mode - bus, economics - operating costs, policy - equity


Gross kilometres, Operating revenue, Operating loss, Operating cost, Public passenger transport, State transport corporations, Subsidy


The present study tries to see whether the subsidy given to CSTC, which is the oldest and the largest state transport corporation operating in and around Kolkata, is really being used to cover the losses they make over the years or to merely cover-up an inefficient performance. The state owned buses are required to serve, not only non-profitable routes in off-peak hours, but also to give social security or employment to a large section of society. The burden of carrying a huge staff structure and serving at an administered and less than competitive price for welfare reasons, makes CSTC liable to an operating loss. Therefore, it makes a case for subsidy. However, the regular commuters experience regarding the condition of and the services provided by these raises a question about the justification of subsidy. In the study it is seen that the subsidy given is not based on any of the components on which it should, economically.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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