The fare structure of taxis and autorickshaws is likely to see a change if the state transport department goes ahead with the proposal of reducing the minimum distance after which the tariff changes from 1.6 km to 1 km.
“We received this proposal from consumer organisations a while back and are scrutinising it,” said Dilip Jadhav, state transport commissioner.
Presently, the minimum fare charged by autorickshaws is Rs11 and by taxis is Rs16. The fares increase after every 1.6 km. If the proposal goes through, the minimum fare will be decreased and the calculation on the subsequent fares will be revised.
However, this move might hamper those travelling long distance, as the meter units will roll after every kilometre, making taxi and auto rickshaw commute costlier.
“There would be a revision in fares only if the proposal receives clearance,” said a senior transport official on condition of anonymity. However, unions are opposing the proposal.
“This system will work for autorickshaws as they can afford to run short distance. If this system in introduced for taxis, then it is bound to hamper the earning of taxi drivers,” said A L Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai taximen’s union.
The auto rickshaw union has shown resistance to the proposal too. “Instead of bringing down the kilometer distance, why can’t the transport department revise fares every year using the present formula [used to calculate fares]?” said Sharad Rao, president, Mumbai auto rickshaw union. The revision in the fare system will require auto rickshaw and taxi meters to be reset.
“In any case, electronic meters will replace mechanical meters. We can surely try this system,” added the official from the transport department.