Taxis in T/gang overcharge fares

A resident says he pays Nu 200 as taxi fare which earlier cost just Nu 150

Ordinary consumers are already feeling the impact of the increasing fuel cost, with skyrocketing prices, mostly attributed to increase in the transportation cost, hurting people at the lower rungs of the society.

In Trashigang, local commuters are facing the brunt of the fuel price hike with taxi drivers imposing their revised fares which have not been approved by the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA).

Just two months back, RSTA in consultation with the local cabbies had fixed travel fares, which people were paying until the taxi drivers decided to increase the fare following the hike.   

Despite the increase in the price of petrol and diesel in the country, the RSTA did not revise the fares, as it was recently fixed in February.

According to Sangay Wangdi, the Base Transport Officer in Trashigang, his office has not received any complaint regarding the increase in taxi fares.

“RSTA cannot take any action directly without people filing in official complaints,” he said. “Even taxi drivers have not put up any proposal for revising the fare.”

However, the revision has not helped the cabbies, who claim to have lost their clients as it is more expensive renting a taxi.

“But we are left without any option as the fuel cost has gone up drastically,” a cabbie said, adding that earlier many people would use their services locally, besides the airport at Yonphula generating a lot of business for them.  

“It’s a terrible time for taxi drivers,” said another local cabbie, asking where have all the passengers gone?

Currently, the fare from Trashigang to Kanglung is Nu 200 and from Trashigang to Rangjung is Nu 150 compared to Nu 100 earlier.  

“I don’t know why the RSTA is not revising the taxi fare accordingly with the fuel price hike,” another taxi driver said, adding they are discussing among themselves to approach the RSTA so as to avoid being fined.

Meanwhile, people from the nearby rural areas that Business Bhutan talked to say they have to rent taxis and other modes of transportations to reach their produce in the market, which has become extremely expensive.

“I paid Nu 200 as taxi fare which earlier cost just Nu 150,” said Kinley Wangchuk, a local resident, pointing out how overnight fare from Trashigang to Kanglung has doubled.

“So people prefer hitching rides in private vehicles rather than waiting for a taxi,” he said.

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang