Monday, March 19, 2012

Public transportation becomes dearer

After the airfares, the public transportation is going to be dearer due to hike in the prices of petroleum products.
The government hiked the fares of public transportation including buses, trucks and taxis to be effective from tomorrow.
A meeting between government representatives and transport entrepreneurs at the Department of Transport Management today had decided to increase the fares of public transport by 4.5 per cent to eight per cent.
According to the Department of Transport Management, the government has raised the public transportation fare by 4.54 per cent and meter taxi by 8.19 per cent, while 5.26 per cent and 5.29 per cent has been raised for trucks and tankers operating in the Tarai and Hilly routes, respectively.
The hike in transportation fare is going to push the inflation up putting pressure on the central bank to control the price hike that has started cooling down recently.
The minimum public transportation fare stands at Rs 14 for the shortest travel in the capital. The revised fare structure means the charge for travelling in public vehicles will go up from Re 1 for the shortest ride to Rs 70 for the longest route — Kathmandu to Sanfebagar.
The department consented to adjust the fare for public transport after receiving a green signal from the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management, according to the department. The fare for trucks and tankers has been increased by 5.26 per cent per tonne per kilometre in Tarai areas and 5.29 per cent on hilly routes, according to the department. The price hike is completely based on the influence from transport entrepreneurs, said consumer rights activist Jyoti Baniya.
Nepal Metre Taxi Entrepreneurs' Association had demanded the government to increase the fare by at least eight percent but the government increased taxi fares by 8.19 per cent to Rs 32 per km against the previous rate which stood at Rs 29.70 per km. "Isn't this a tangible proof that the government has received benefits from entrepreneurs," he questioned.
Consumers want the quality of service to go up with the rise in fares, said Baniya. "But, the government has not mentioned even a single word about transporters having to ensure consumer rights."
It is the second time in four months that the government has decided to increase transportation fares citing the hike in the price of petroleum products. Transport entrepreneurs had been putting pressure on the government to increase public fares by at least five percent to six percent due to the hike in fuel prices in late February this year.

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