Bus, auto fare set to rise
Some bus operators in the capital are charging additional fare due to gas price hike, although the authorities concerned repeatedly said they would not increase it until the government decided about it.
Passengers are forced to pay additional charges from Tk 5 to Tk 8 on different routes that led bus staff and passengers to lock horns in last couple of days.
Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader is scheduled to announce a revised fare chart for CNG-run buses and three-wheelers in Dhaka and Chittagong cities today.
The move to increase public transport fare came following the government's increased CNG price from Tk 30 to Tk 35 per cubic metre on September 1.
"I used to pay Tk 12-15 for travelling from Jatrabari to Farmgate through a local bus popularly known as No 36. They are charging Tk 20 for the same route for the last three days," said Kawsar Mahmud, a private jobholder, yesterday.
Asked by the passengers why they were charging high before the government announcement, the bus staff replied the government would not subsidise the owner's loss, Kawsar told The Daily Star.
Another passenger Saidur Rahman said, "I used to pay Tk 5 in local bus service [No 22] for travelling from Paltan intersection to Farmgate. But now they are charging Tk 10."
Masud Rahman, who travels from Rampura to Gulistan daily, said most of the bus staff on this route are often charging Tk 12 instead of existing Tk 7-8.
"If the passengers collectively protest against extra fare, they take the existing fare," he added.
Shajahan Mollah used to travel from Mohammadpur to Matsya Bhaban intersection at Tk 10 in sitting service buses. Those operators are now charging Tk 15 for the same distance.
"If anyone protests against it, the bus staff become aggressive and ask us to leave. As there is huge shortage of public transport in Dhaka city, we are compelled to pay additional fare," Shajahan said.
Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity Secretary General Khandaker Enayet Ullah denied charging additional fare. He said they would strictly direct all bus owners in Dhaka city not to charge extra fare until the government makes an announcement.
Following gas price hike, Obaidul Quader and road transport leaders repeatedly said bus fare would not increase until the government decided about it.
A fare re-fixing committee headed by the chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has proposed to increase bus fare by up to 8 percent in Dhaka city, while the bus owners demand minimum 10 percent hike.
As per the existing fare rate, passengers pay Tk 1.5 (minibus) and Tk 1.6 (bus) for travelling per kilometre in the two metropolises.
Besides, another fare re-fixing committee has proposed to increase CNG-run auto rickshaws fare by up to 37 percent.