Following the recent auto-taxi fare hike, most families are beginning to practise cost-cutting in their monthly budget by opting cheaper means of transportation, making their journey more tedious.
"It is difficult to cope with price rise for families surviving on a monthly salary. It is unfair when prices for basic commodities are hiked regularly but salaries remain the same," said Pradnya Pawar, 50, a Mahim resident.
All her family members use taxis once a day. "Travelling is a must and nobody can limit or ignore travel expenses. The only thing I can do is reduce other expenses to compensate this one."
A week ago, the state government had cleared steep hike in auto and taxi tariff. The minimum fare for taxi has increased from Rs. 17 to Rs. 19 while the same for auto rickshaw has increased from Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 causing Mumbaiites to shell out more money for commuting.
Ghatkopar resident and media professional Aniket Agrey has started cutting down his travel by autorickshaw to stay within his monthly budget.
"I used to spend around Rs. 2500 per month for travelling. Now, my travel expenses will go unbelievably high," said Agrey.
Tukaram B, who works as a driver, used autos once a day to commute to his work place. Now, he says he will opt only if there is an emergency. He says his salary is not enough to take care of the family. "Four members are surviving on my salary of Rs. 10,000. How will I pay my children's fees if I spend it on auto rides?" he added.
Senior citizens also find it difficult to cope with the fare hike. Gladys Menon, 73, travels by taxi from her Worli residence to her office in Ballard Pier.
"At this age, it is difficult for me to travel in crowded buses every day. Now, I may have to take the bus," said Menon, who used to spend Rs. 200 per day for travelling.
Even share-autos rides have become costlier. People end up paying different charges according to what is demanded by the share-auto drivers as there is a huge confusion regarding the fare.