Returning home is starting to become a challenge for Turkish people, as ticket prices for intercity buses have more than doubled due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving many citizens feeling exploited.
Problems are now twofold. Turkey halted intercity buses, trains and limited domestic flights last week in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Citizens need to apply to the Travel Permission Council, tied to each local governor's office, to travel. For example, in eastern Erzurum province, the matter is not only about receiving permission to travel. Citizens must also pay for an expensive ticket to return home.
Ömer Ayhan, a student in Erzurum’s Atatürk University, came to the province by train for TL 29 ($4.33). To return to his hometown in the central Kayseri province, he barely found a bus ticket for TL 200.
“Five days before the outbreak, the highest bus price was TL 90,” said Ayhan, who added that bus operators are exploiting travelers due to the coronavirus.
Most operators decreased their number of daily buses. As demand hit its peak, due to the high numbers of people trying to return their home, however, prices have soared in recent days.
From Erzurum, ticket prices are about TL 300 for those traveling to the provinces of central Konya and Nevşehir and rise to TL 400 to spots like Istanbul or Antalya.
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