Sitting service out, higher charge continue
Bus passengers are reportedly still being overcharged in the capital despite drives by the concerned authorities on Sunday to ensure fair bus fares.
Passengers at Farmgate, Agargaon, and Shabagh stoppages told press they are being charged excess fare despite the announcement that from 15 April no bus can charge higher than the rate fixed by the government.
Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity, an association of bus owners in the capital, at its general meeting on 4 April decided that no passenger bus will be allowed to operate in Dhaka city in the name of ‘Sitting Service’ or ‘Gate Lock’ from 15 April as additional fare is being charged from passengers in the name of such services.
During rush hours, these “sitting service” buses turn into regular buses with people standing, they said, adding that the fare do not change then.
To collect the extra fare, bus owners ignore the set fare and use their self-devised system. Such “sitting service” system is illegal, according to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) officials.
At Agargaon, executive magistrate Munib Rahman said Tk 69,500 was collected from 23 cases against buses between 10am and 2pm today. The magistrate realised Tk 1000 from a bus operator for not hanging up the fare chart in the bus. Most of the city buses did not hang up the chart, it was observed.
According to the Motor Vehicle Rules, there will be 30 passenger seats in a minibus. A bus should not wait for passengers when it 80 per cent fulfilled, according to a BRTA directive.
Some passengers alleged bus staff were taking more than Tk 5 minimum fare. Fewer buses were seen on the road due to the drive.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said the drives will continue until order is established in the public transport sector.