Buses ripping off city commuters
Operators of intra-city bus services are overcharging passengers on most of the routes in the capital, defying the new fare chart set by the government.
As per the new government chart, effective from October 1, fare for per kilometre has increased by 10 paisa. But talking to The Daily Star, passengers on a dozen of routes have complained that they are being charged much more than the government rate.
Although Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has launched drives against overcharging, passengers continue to suffer as those are insufficient compared to the number of buses.
Commuters are supposed to pay Tk 1.70 for travelling per kilometre on public buses and Tk 1.60 per kilometre on minibuses, according to the new chart.
Zubayer Rahman, a college student, yesterday commuted from Mirpur 10 to Farmgate on a bus named Mirpur Link and he had to pay Tk 15.
As per the BRTA chart, the distance of this route is 6.7 kilometres and hence, the fare should be around Tk 11.50.
"Not only Mirpur Link, most of the buses plying this route are charging additional fares," he said.
Ehasanul Karim, a government employee, commutes from Mirpur 10 to Motijheel and is being charged Tk 25.
Mahbubur Rahman, a banker, who commutes between the same route, said, "Today (Sunday), I took a bus of ETC Transports. They charged Tk 20 even a few days back but today, they charged me Tk 25."
The distance between Mirpur 10 and Motijheel is around 12.7 kilometres and the fare should be around Tk 21.50.
Staffs of many minibuses, too, are charging higher fares.
Balaka Paribahan, a minibus service plying the Sayedabad to Gazipur route, is charging passengers Tk 14 for a distance of around 8 kilometres, almost same as the fare fixed for buses.
Meanwhile, BRTA yesterday conducted mobile court drives at three points in the capital -- Manik Miah Avenue, Mirpur Road and Agargaon --to check overcharging.
The mobile courts filed cases against 88 vehicles for overcharging and fined them over Tk 1.12 lakh, said BRTA officials.