The city’s steepest ever auto and taxi fare hike comes into effect on Thursday. The tariff revision will set in motion the biggest ever meter calibration exercise, for which transport department has set a 45-day deadline.
On Thursday, brace yourself for some squabbles as not a single auto or taxi will be plying with a recalibrated meter, which is needed to arrive at the new tariff.
Your best hope would be that the driver has laid his hands on the new rate card being issued by the state transport department; your best option would be to lay a hand on one such tariff card yourself .
Mumbaiites looking to travel by black-and-yellow taxis will have to pay a minimum fare of Rs. 19 instead of Rs. 17, while those who commute in autos will have to pay Rs. 15 instead of Rs. 12.
That’s not all. For each subsequent kilometre, commuters will have to pay Rs. 12.35 for taxis and Rs. 9.87 for autos.
While the hike will affect everyone, those who travel long distances will be the worst hit as now the meter will change at every 100 metres instead of every 200 metres in autos and 167 metres in taxis.
For the convenience of passengers, the transport department has issued two separate cards for both taxis and autos - one meant for electronic meters and the other for mechanical meters.
There’s no big difference though – the e-meter card will simply not have the meter change column, instead it will have the distance covered, which is what is shown in e-meters.
You will have to pay the same fare irrespective of whether the meter is mechanical or electronic.
In an attempt to discourage the use of bogus cards, the transport department has issued a warning that regional transport offices (RTO) will file police complaints against drivers caught cheating passengers using bogus cards.
The department has also rejected the demand of auto and taxi unions to not recalibrate meters until the fare hike, which is expected in May 2013, and ply using the revised tariff cards. It wants all meters recalibrated before November 25.
“If any auto or taxi meter is found uncalibrated after that, RTO officials will take action,” said VN More, transport commissioner.
It has become necessary to recalibrate all meters as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) has reduced the minimum distance to 1.5 km from 1.6 km and reduced the meter changing stage to 100 meters.
In all, around 2.5 lakh meters will have to be recalibrated in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
“The last time all meters were recalibrated was in 1971, but that was only for taxis,” said a senior RTO official.
Although unions are not keen on recalibration, the drivers are eager to get it done. “After last hike, few of them recalibrated their meters. With a huge hike, if they don’t recalibrate, they will be at a loss. They will try to do it as soon as possible,” he said.
For tariff cards click the link: Mumbai tariff card
Or visit: Motor vehicles department