A section of auto-rickshaw drivers has opposed demands to recalibrate meters as per the new tariff structure, complicating matters for transport authorities and commuters.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority has hiked the minimum fare for rickshaws by Rs3 and for taxis by Rs2. It also hiked fare for each subsequent kilometer. However, in a rare move, the MMRTA has reduced the minimum fare distance from 1.6km to 1.5km. The meter changing stage for subsequent distance has also been reduced to 100 metres.
This change requires that all meters – digital and analogue – be recalibrated to ensure that the meter ticks as per the new distance structure. If not, it allows rickshaw and taxi drivers to fleece commuters with arbitrary estimation of distance and fare.
At least one rickshaw union, however, is opposing the change saying it doesn’t want drivers incur the recalibration cost, as they will have to readjust their meters in May, when the fare is slated to go up again.
“Therefore, we have told the government that instead of forcing recalibration of meters in 45 days, it should allow drivers to use a tariff card till the next fare hike,” said Shashank Rao of Mumbai Automen’s Union.