Passengers complain about exorbitant cab fare from Sorchen to P/ling

They say the fare should be reduced

Passengers are not happy with the fare charged by taxis while having to travel in a cab from Sorchen till Phuentsholing town. 

They say they would be happy to see fare reduction from Sorchen to Phuentsholing as the current rate is already high while coming from Thimphu.

For a 40-minute drive from Sorchen to Phuentsholing town, taxis earlier charged Nu 250 for each passenger. This has, however, increased presently to Nu 500 for one individual.

Passengers say they have no options rather than to opt for a taxi or one needs a private vehicle as bus services are not available.

A passenger who recently reached Phuentsholing from Thimphu, Karma Dorji said the transportation cost has gone higher compared to the normal times.

“The pandemic has been a problem for Phuentsholing residents and higher rates for taxi service is something that every one of us can expect. But paying Nu 500 to travel for about 40 minutes in a taxi is something unimaginable,” he added.

“If the RSTA could look into the matter and try to reduce the fare, then it will be a big help for those traveling to Phuentsholing from Sorchen,” Karma Dorji said. 

Another passenger, Kinley Om, said she paid Nu 750 till Sorchen from Thimphu and another Nu 500 from Sorchen to Phuentsholing.

Usually, before the Covid-19 pandemic, taxis charge Nu 700 to 800 per passenger to Phuentsholing from Thimphu or Paro, but now passengers pay almost double the fare.

Kinley Om said traveling to Phuentsholing has been difficult for many because of the exorbitant cab fare.

 “I even fought with a taxi driver about the fare, but the driver told me that the fare was made by the RSTA and not them,” she added.

 “If the RSTA could revise the fare and reduce it to Nu 250 instead of Nu 500, passengers would be grateful as the rate from Thimphu itself is high,” said another passenger, Tshering.

However, taxi drivers rendering services from Sorchen to Phuentsholing say they have no other options rather than to charge Nu 500 for an individual as the 50% sitting capacity rule has been imposed from Sorchen.

A taxi driver, Ugyen said taxi drivers have to charge Nu 500 for an individual as the drivers have to come empty without any passenger from Phuentsholing to Sorchen.

He said there are some passengers who are not willing to pay Nu 500 and to avoid a quarrel, sometimes they have to settle down at Nu 400.

Most of the taxi drivers say with 50% passenger capacity while traveling from Sorchen to Phuentsholing, they have to charge Nu 500 for an individual.

An official from the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) said the taxi fare was revised as the drivers were only allowed to have 50% capacity, which is two passengers at a time.

“Before the lockdown the charge was Nu 250 per passenger from Sorchen, where a taxi driver could earn Nu 1,000 if they have full passengers. But now with two passengers, the fare needed to be divided among the two passengers,” the official said. “The taxi drivers were affected with prolonged lockdown and without any earning income.”

Further, the official said no official complaints were made from the passengers’ side where the RSTA could take action. “The RSTA would like to request the passengers to complain officially so that we could look into the matter as required.”

The official said the taxi fare has been revised starting from Friday. The revised rate from Phuentsholing taxi parking to Sorchen is Nu 414, where an individual needs to pay Nu 104 if a taxi is carrying four passengers.

Sonam Tashi from Phuentsholing