Not all auto and taxi drivers were trying to fleece people, but neither were all of them honest, discovered this HT reporter when she hailed cabs and autos close late on Wednesday night, just before the new tariff came into effect.
When this reporter hailed a taxi from Sion station to go to Sion hospital at 11.30pm, the driver charged the minimum fare of Rs. 17, abiding by the old fare. However, at 11.40pm, the driver of another cab, which she hailed to get back to Sion station, claimed the new fare was already in effect and demanded Rs. 20 for the same distance. He backed down and settled for Rs. 17 after it was pointed out that the fare would change only at midnight.
At 11.50pm, this reporter then got into an auto at Sion station and went up to Lucky hotel on SV Road, Bandra. The auto's electronic meter showed a reading of Rs. 15 fro 1.1 km even before the journey began and the driver claimed he had recalibrated the meter at an RTO to show the new minimum fare, though the meter recalibration process had not begun.
At 12.15am, the reporter hailed an auto with a mechanical meter from Lucky hotel to Linking Road in Bandra. The driver charged the midnight fare of Rs. 20 for a meter reading of 1.1. As he did not have the new tariff card, he was not aware that the midnight fare for the distance would come up to Rs. 23.