PUNE: Auto rickshaw commuters in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad will have to shell out a little more as the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has agreed to a hike in auto fares. From July 1, the commuters will pay an additional amount of Re 1 for the first one and a half kilometer of travel. The existing fare is Rs 17.
The last auto fare hike was in October 2013.The fare per kilometer beyond one and a half kilometres has also been revised from Rs 11.65 to Rs 12.31. However, no change has been made in the night fares.
RTA Secretary and the Regional Transport Officer Jitendra Patil said, “After a round of meetings, the RTA held a final meeting on May 28 to discuss the revision of fares. The committee then reached to a conclusion to revise fares after calculations were done as per the formula set by the transport department.” An RTA meeting was held in April this year to discuss the suggestions and objections on the issue.
The auto rickshaw drivers are expected to recalibrate meters as per new fares and get the RTO’s seal on it within 45 days starting July 1. Ashok Shingdale, a rickshaw driver said, “We are very happy with the decision as the fare hike only comes after two years for us. The sad part is that the rise is not satisfactory and does not profit us much as the recalibration of the meter itself requires 500 rupees to be given out at a time.”
There are about 45,000 auto rickshaws in the city of which over 65% run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Nitin Pawar, convener of the Rickshaw Panchayat organization in the city said, “People have a misconception that the auto rickshaw drivers rake up a lot of money. In fact, the price we pay for CNG in the city is a lot higher and such a small rise in the auto fares does not justify our demand. Something is better than nothing, we believe.”
A hike in the auto fares was expected in May when the decision was taken to wait for the formation of a new committee which would replace the one-man PMA Hakim committee responsible for the recent fare hikes. However, the Government of Maharashtra continued to abide by the latter’s recommendation to increase the auto fares.
Meter-run taxis and cool cabs also saw a revision in the fares beginning July 1.
|First 1.5 km||17||18|
|Night charge||25% extra||25% extra|
|Waiting charge||60 seconds||60 seconds|