Taxi drivers do not follow revised fares

Though public transport fare revision was supposed to come into effect since December 1, the passengers are still paying the previous fares.

The Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) revised fares for public transport with drop in the price of petrol and diesel in November.

The information and communications ministry approved the revised fares since November 17.

Dawa Zam who regularly plys to and from Hejo in a taxi said: “I heard about the revised fares but I do not see any changes.”

“Earlier I used to pay Nu 30 from the taxi parking to Hejo and I am still paying the same amount; sometimes they even ask for more,” she added.

Lobzang Choden who also travels by cab from the town to Olakha said that the fare has remained the same as before and sometimes the drivers charge extra.

It costs Nu 30 to reach Semtokha from the taxi parking, a distance of seven kilometers and the same amount till Changjiji, which is four kilometers from town.

Meanwhile, a passenger from Babesa said that he used to pay Nu 40 to Nu 45 till Babesa but after the fare revision, he continues to pay the same.

Chief Transport Officer with RSTA Karma Pemba said that the fares would be based on the number of kilometers he or she travels and the number of passengers in the car.

“Revised fare for taxis is less by Nu 2 a km within a district and Nu 1 a km for a journey outside the district,” he said.

According to a taxi operator, Nima Tshering, fuel prices keep on fluctuating and there may be an increase in prices for the next few months.

“We were not well informed about the revised fares and we did not get enough information,” he said.

Another taxi driver said that the taxi fares depend on the number of passengers: they will have to divide the total fare among themselves.

RSTA announced that all the passengers, operators and commuters should be informed of the revised fare rates for strict compliance from December 1, 2017.

The authority has stated in its website that “if there is any issue, all individuals are requested to report to the nearest RSTA office or traffic police to help enable enforcement of the rules for the benefit of all.”

Jigme Wangchen from Thimphu