Sunday September 24, 2023

Transporters unilaterally jack up fares exorbitantly

September 24, 2022

Rawalpindi : The Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) here in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are charging Rs40 stop-to-stop and over Rs100 for last-stop fares. Interestingly, authorities concerned are playing both sides of the wicket and neither taking action against transporters nor stopping them from fleecing commuters.

After every hike in POL prices, local transporters unilaterally increased the fares by up to Rs25 stop-to-stop from Rs15 to Rs40 despite the fact that the district administration has not notified any increase in this regard.

Powerful transporters including mini-buses, wagons, and Suzuki pick-ups have jacked up the fare from one stop to the other Rs40 without waiting for the official notification. All transporters have increased stop-to-stop fares from Rs15 to Rs40. As a result, fights were reported to have taken place between transporters and commuters on regular basis.

Earlier, when one litre of petrol was sold at Rs130 to Rs150 transporters were charging Rs40 for last stop and Rs12 stop-to-stop. Some transporters on the routes of Raja Bazaar to Sihala, Raja Bazaar to Garibabad, Saddar to Tench Bhatta, and Raja Bazaar to Golra Sharif were charging Rs50 stop-to-stop.

The most affected community was students who were facing the worst situation due to less pocket money. The government has abolished all kinds of subsidized ticket facilities for the student community.

On the other, a private ride has increased the fare by up to Rs30 per ride. Taxi cabs and rickshaws have also jacked up the fares arbitrarily, charging Rs250 instead of Rs120 for within-city travel.

District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Rashid Ali told ‘The News’ that transporters could not increase fares at their own without government notification. “We are continuously taking action against transporters who are charging high fares,” he said. He said that local transporters have filed applications to increase fares which I have sent to the Punjab government. Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) has the power to increase the fares, he claimed.

The school shift vehicles have also increased fares by 30 to 40 per cent too due to increasing prices of petrol creating problems for parents.

Rawalpindi-Islamabad Transport Welfare Association (RITWA) senior representatives have claimed how they could survive with old fares while the government increases POL prices every now and again. “We are thinking of further increasing the fares because the government is not stopping from increasing POL prices,” the senior representatives warned.

Talking to ‘The News’ commuters belong to different walks of life protested against increasing fares by transporters. They said that the government has left the public in a lurch. The transporters have increased stop-to-stop fares by Rs25 from Rs15 to Rs40. “We were already facing financial burden due to ever-increasing inflation but transport fares have broken the back of a common man completely, people strongly condemned.