Commuters in Mumbai are reeling under fare hikes. After the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) hiked bus fare, autorickshaws and taxis are all set to revise fare from June 1.
The BEST fare has gone up twice since February this year while auto-taxi fare has been revised twice within a year.
On Monday, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority increased auto and taxi tariff by Re1 -- the base fare of auto will be Rs 18 and taxis Rs 22.
This will hit office-goers and school-going children.
“Commuting cost is soaring. Earlier, transport cost of one person used to be around 5% to 8% of his salary but now it has increased to 10-15%. On an average, commuters are spending around Rs 100 daily,” said Varsha Raut, member of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
Revati Desai travels from Kalyan to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) daily. “A year ago, my daily travel expense used to be around Rs 50 but it has increased to Rs 80,” she said.
Transport activists and experts fear that it may lead to a surge in two-wheelers and small cars, further congesting traffic on roads. “Two-wheelers congest traffic and they are also flout traffic rules,” said Rishi Aggarwal, transport expert.
Wadala regional transport officer (RTO) B Ajri said, “We will submit the minutes of the meeting to the high court on Wednesday. Only after the court order, the revised tariff will come into effect.”
General secretary of Mumbai's rickshawmen union Thampy Kurien said: “Our request is that meters of vehicles which were recalibrated in the last phase be given priority now.”