The auto fare hike, which came into effect on Monday, has both commuters and auto drivers confused as the revised tariff charts have not yet been distributed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority. This despite the fact that the hike was announced nearly two weeks ago, on October 4.
The state government has approved a 50 paise hike for every kilometre after the initial 1.6 kilometres, for which the basic fare remains unchanged at Rs 11.
“I was asked to pay extra, but when I asked for a fare chart, the auto driver said he didn’t have it. Am I supposed to trust the driver and hand over the amount he is asking me to pay?” said Jayesh Parekh, a Kandivli-based businessman who refused to pay more than the printed fare.
Most auto drivers that Hindustan Times spoke to on Monday didn’t have the new tariff charts. As a result, Monday saw a lot of arguments and fights between commuters and drivers.
“I have been reading in the newspapers about the fare hike, but when I asked for the new chart, the driver said he didn’t have it. I ended up paying more than the old fare keeping faith that the amount I was told by the driver was correct,” said Nilesh Gupta, who travels regularly from Malvani to Malad station.
A few drivers managed to get the revised fare chart. “I managed to get a photocopy of the fare chart from the Kherwadi signal for Rs5. But it’s pointless, a 50 paise hike makes little difference,” said driver Laxmishankar Yadav.
Some drivers said they didn’t ask commuters to pay more as they didn’t know how much to charge.
“Whenever there is a fare hike, we get copies of the fare chart from our union offices or they are sold at signals. But this time we have not been able to get one from anywhere,” said driver Bhim Sau. “I am continuing to charge the old fare despite knowing that there has been a hike. I hope to get the new fare chart soon.”
VN More, state transport commissioner, said the state gave the order to print the revised tariff cards on Saturday afternoon. “It’s a bulk order and it will take two to three days to be ready,” More said. “As soon as the cards are available, we will distribute them through the auto union offices.”
After HT informed More that the new tariff card had not been uploaded on the transport commissioner’s website, www.mahatranscom.in, he immediately ordered the tariff card to be uploaded. Commuters can download the card from Tuesday.