Most people prefer to travel by Metro or buses
Commuters are unhappy over the Karnataka government’s decision to raise autorickshaw fares from December 1.
Susan, a clinical psychology student, informed The Observer: “I… use autos almost every day. It is annoying that drivers charge extra. Sometimes they don’t even use the meter. The increase in fares is going to affect most students….”
Irshad Ansari, who is not a regular autorickshaw traveller, said: “I feel auto drivers already charge a lot for just 2 km. The increase in fares is a big problem for us. Because of this, I prefer travelling by Metro or bus as much as possible.”
Many people prefer travelling by bus or Metro.
Padma M, a regular commuter, said: “I usually travel through Metro or by bus because auto drivers charge a lot. The fare rise has added to the problems of commuters. Already everything is expensive.” The increase in autorickshaw fares will affect people’s budgets.
Kisha, a student, shared that she takes an autorickshaw only when she is running late; otherwise, she prefers travelling by bus or Metro. She avoids taking autorickshaws as far as possible because they charge more than required.
As per the revised fares, the first 2 km will cost Rs 30, and the per-km charge after that will be Rs 15. The Transport Department on November 6 stated these new fares would come into effect from December 1.
The Observer talked to a few auto drivers and unions to get the other side of the story.
Shafi Ali, a driver, said Rs 30 is not enough. CNG prices, electricity charges, vegetables are increasing and this is a big problem for them.
Rajesh, another driver, said that for him driving for Ola has been more profitable. The increase in fares is not enough for them.
Many unions are not happy with the hike; they say it is not enough.
Sampath C, general secretary of Aadarsh Sampath auto union, said they have to take care of a lot of expenses and needed more a bigger fare hike. “We welcome this decision but many auto unions are unhappy with it and are still protesting.”
Sheik Khaleel, treasurer of Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union, said they are not happy with the government’s decision. They wanted the base fare to be Rs 40 for the first 2 km and the per-km fare thereafter to be Rs 20. They have filed another memorandum for an increase in fares.
Rangappa Karigar, a Section Officer of the Transport Department, said the fares are the same for everyone. Fuel prices are rising and this is one of the reasons why the fares have been increased.
Professor MN Sreehari, the Karnataka Government’s Traffic Adviser and Transport Infrastructure Consultant, said: “Fare decisions should be calculated scientifically. This increase in the base price is helping auto drivers to make extra profits, and this has a cascading effect. This is not good for the commuters as they will be paying more than required.”
The last fare revision was effected in 2013. Since then, the unions have been requesting the government to revise fares. A report in The Times of India said some drivers charged revised fares for some weeks before the increase. Some drivers fear the fare hike will keep passengers away.