Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked the concerned authorities to reduce the fare of the newly launched taxicab by 15 percent, showing respect to public opinion.
"Re-fix the first two kilometres' fare at Tk 85 from Tk 100," she said while inaugurating the taxicab service of the Trust Transport Services under the Army Welfare Trust that aims to address the longstanding crisis of quality public transport.
Hasina formally launched the new taxicab service by handing over three keys of the cabs to their selected drivers at a ceremony at the Army Golf Club in the Dhaka Cantonment.
Speaking on the occasion, Hasina said that although there is some criticism about the fixation of the taxicab fare, people are ready to pay more if they get the proper service.
From today, 46 air-conditioned yellow taxi cabs -- 27 of Trust Transport Services of Army Welfare Trust and 19 of Toma Group, a private operator -- started plying the roads of the capital.
The number of taxicabs will be increased to 600 and these will ply the roads in Dhaka and Chittagong.
The taxicabs will have GPS system, vehicle tracking system, wireless, etc., in order to track and trace all vehicles of this type anywhere in the country.
The Ministry of Communications earlier fixed the rate of taxicab fare increasing the first two kilometres’ fare to Tk 100 from Tk 60.
It also fixed Tk 34 for every additional kilometre, with Tk 8.5 for every two minutes’ waiting. The on-call rate for the cabs has been fixed at Tk 20.
The prime minister expressed her hope that members of Bangladesh Army would be more active in earning the trust of the people, providing the desired services to them.
She mentioned that a number of projects were given to Bangladesh Army under the Vision-2021 for building the country a ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On the steps to improve the passenger service system in the capital, Hasina said her government introduced articulated bus services, new school services and special services for female passengers. In addition, new BRTC routes have been introduced while steps have been taken to reserve seats for the disabled passengers.
She mentioned that implementation of the beautification projects including Hatirjheel coordinated development project and development of roads and streets adjacent to the Dhanmondi Lake have significantly added the beauty of the Dhaka city.
She said the Army Welfare Trust has been running various commercial activities aimed at creating employment for the poor members of the Army as well as ensuring welfare of the people.
The prime minister said the aim of the Army Welfare Trust is not to make just profits like other organisations, but their activities are conducted as part of social obligation.
"Such noble activities of the Army have already been praised by people from all walks of life."
In this regard, she expressed her hope that the Taxicab Service under the Army Welfare Trust would ensure comfortable and safe journey in the capital city.
She expressed her optimism that the Taxicab Service under the Army Welfare Trust would be a successful project through high standard of discipline, organisational efficiency, integrity and tireless labor of the members of the Army.
Communications Minister Obaidul Qader, Chief of the Army Staff and chairman of Army Welfare Trust General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, and Chairman of the Trust Transport Services Major General AKM Mujahid Uddin also spoke at the occasion.