Mumbai, Oct. 6 -- From October 11, long-distance journeys in autos and taxis will burn a big hole in your pocket as the state on Friday revised tariffs, which includes a huge hike in the basic fare (per km rate) other than a rise in the minimum fares. You are also likely to get into quarrels with drivers as until all meters - mechanical and electronic of autos and cabs - are recalibrated, they will not be able to calculate the revised fares. The transport department expects the recalibration process to take 45 days, said VN More, transport commissioner.
An officer from Regional Transport Office said if the hike had been limited to the minimum distance fare, it would not have affected people too much. The revision will now benefit only those commuting short distances, such as from station to home.
A 10-km journey in an auto will cost at least Rs33 more than the current fare, while a 10-km distance in a cab would cost Rs20 more. "We will issue new tariff cards that will have columns such as distance travelled, meter reading and fare," said More.
The transport department plans to make it compulsory for all cabs and autos to have 'for hire' indicators.
The state is also planning to reduce the maximum age permitted for autos and taxis - it wants to phase out taxis older than 20 years and autos over 16 years. Currently, taxis are phased out after 25 years and autos have no limit.
Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary of Mumbai Auto rickshawmen's union, said: "We will appeal to our members to adopt a commuter-friendly attitude now." "We accept the hike but with protest as it is not at par with the auto hike," said AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen's Union.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.