Fare hike, first time since 2013, to be announced next week
After nearly eight years, auto-rickshaws fare in the city is all set to be hiked next week. The minimum fare is likely to be hiked to ₹30 from the present ₹25, and the fare per km will likely be hiked to ₹15 from ₹13, said sources.
However, J. Manjunath, DC, Bengaluru Urban, and chairman of Road Transport Authority, while confirming the hike, did not divulge the quantum by which it will be hiked. “We have held stakeholder meetings on the proposed hike and decided on the fare increase,” he said.
Transport Minister B. Sriramulu on Wednesday told mediapersons that he would discuss it with the CM and announce the hike in a week. “It has been eight years since the fare was hiked. Autorickshaw unions have requested it. But I need to consider the interest of commuters as well,” he said.
The last time auto fare was hiked in the city was in 2013.
C.N. Sreenivas, general secretary, Autorickshaw Driver’s Union (CITU), said the pandemic had been very tough on the sector and inflation had skyrocketed in the last few years, making an autorickshaw driver’s business ‘unviable’. “We had initially demanded a hike to a minimum fare of ₹36 and ₹18/km fare. However, keeping in view the pandemic, the economy taking a hit and joblessness in the society, we revised our demands recently to a minimum fare of ₹30 for 1.8 km and ₹16/km later on,” he said.
The rising cost of fuel is only adding to the woes of this sector. “In the last two years alone, auto gas price has shot up by over ₹20, now sold at ₹57.88/kg. Another increase in price is expected on October 1, so an auto fare hike is inevitable,” said M. Manjunath, President, Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union. “The government has assured us that they will hike the minimum fare to ₹30 for 2 km and ₹15/km later on,” he claimed.
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