Sensing that the administration will be more open to their demands now that the civic polls are over, taxi and auto unions have renewed bids for increase in fares.
The unions have pointed out that the cost of compressed natural gas (CNG) was increased by Rs1.63 per unit from midnight on February 17, which, they say, necessitates an immediate fare hike.
The Mumbai taximens' union, led by AL Quadros, has submitted a proposal to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) seeking an increase in minimum fare from Rs16 to Rs20, and additional kilometer charges from Rs10 to Rs12.
The authority will take a decision on March 24.
Commuters may also face an increase in rickshaw fares soon. Though the rickshaw unions have not sent a new proposal, they will send a reminder on the existing one, in which they will also mention the recent increase in CNG prices.
“Our demand is to increase the vehicle maintenance cost in the existing formulae for deciding fares. After conversion from petrol to CNG, engine maintenance has increased sharply, but the tariff is still calculated on the old maintenance cost,” said Thampy Kurian, leader of Mumbai rickshawmen’s union.
An official from Tardeo regional transport office (RTO) said, “Tariff hike is decided on the parameters set by the taxi trade committee and includes factors such as cost of the vehicle, fuel price etc. MMRTA officials will meet on March 24 to discuss these proposals. Someone making a demand does not mean a hike will be allowed.”