Despite an ultimatum to end gate lock or seating services in public buses from Saturday exaggerated fares are being realized by most of the city bus operators.
The ultimatum to the transport owners given by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is still being violated, allegations say.
Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association general secretary Khandaker Enayetullah told at a press briefing on refixing the new fare on Wednesday that all gate lock and seating services in the capital would be shut down within the next three days. After this period, BRTA will take necessary action against those operators still demanding extra fare in the name of price hike of fuel. At the same time, the association will also take strict action against them on behalf of the owners association.
It has been observed that using the same banner different companies’ buses on different routes are realizing extra fare. Passengers complained that despite the increase in fares, the many bus conductors are charging additional fares.
A passenger on Raida Transport told this journalist that he had to pay Tk 45 just to travel from Maniknagar to Kuril but I suspect this is not in accordance with the new bus fare rate. When I protested the bus conductor started arguing with me.
However, the vigilance team and mobile court were found stationed at eight spots of the capital. Vigilance teams comprising transport owners-workers and BRTA have stopped those buses when they heard an allegation of charging an extra fare.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Executive Magistrate Fakhrul Islam said, “Every day we are receiving a lot of complaints. Many bus conductors are collecting the fixed amount of fare while many are neglecting the government’s order. Action is being taken against those who are taking an additional fare.”
Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh (PWAB) secretary-general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury told Bangladesh Post, “Whatever the decision is finalized, passengers have to bear the impact. No buses are following the government order, they are taking additional fare as their own.”
“We have learned that the owners' association wants to increase the fare further on the pretext of stopping the seating service. They are already discussing this among themselves about this,” he added.
He warned that if the fare is increased again, they will go for a strict program.
In April 2017, a private road transport organization proposed to stop seating service buses in the capital. BRTA also launched an operation in this continuation. Following the BRTA move, an unannounced bus strike situation was created. Later the seating service started running again.
The BRTA had also formed a committee on seating services at that time. The committee submitted its report with 26 recommendations to the government in September 2017. These recommendations have not been implemented in the last four years.