Get ready to fork out extra for your daily commute. The revised tariff for auto-rickshaws, which comes into effect on Friday, adds a rupee to the existing fare payable. Effectively, the minimum fare will go up from Rs 11 to Rs 12; the fare for a meter reading for 1.10 will go up from Rs 12.5 to Rs 13.5 and so on.
Several commuters and transport experts feel the hike is unfair. “Rickshaws operate on CNG, which is half the price of petrol and gives better mileage. Besides, many rickshaw drivers tamper meters and force commuters to share autos,” said Mohammed Azal, transport activist.
The hike is to come into effect from April 20, but commuters from western suburbs complained that auto-rickshaw drivers had already started demanding higher fare. “Auto-rickshaw drivers have started asking for Rs 12 as minimum fare from commuters. They refuse to ply if commuters don't give in,” said transport expert Sunil Mone.
Meanwhile, confusion over taxi fare continues with a majority of electronic meters yet to be recalibrated. From March 18, the minimum fare for taxis was hiked by Re 1, from Rs 16 to Rs 17, with an additional 50 paise per kilometer thereafter.
However, the revised fare is yet to reflect on most electronic meters. “We have requested the transport department to extend the recalibration period till the trade committee result is out. That could take three months. [An extension] would mean drivers are not forced to recalibrate their e-meters twice,” said AL Quadros, chief of Mumbai Taximen's Union.
Transport commissioner VN More said that his department would consider the request. “Even the department is not pushing for immediate recalibration of all e-metes, as that would increase recalibration charges unnecessarily. Meanwhile, we have distributed a pink tariff card that shows meter reading, distance travelled, old fare and revised fare. Five thousand such pink cards are printed and another 25,000 to 30,000 will be printed soon.”