Taxi op­er­a­tors are still un­aware of the re­vised fare

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Pema Yang­zom

De­spite the prices for the fuel be­ing re­duced dras­ti­cally yet com­muters are pay­ing the same fare for the taxis. The taxi op­er­a­tors claimed that they were un­aware of the re­vised fare.

Most of the taxi op­er­a­tors are not well in­formed about the re­vised fare fixed by the Road Safety and Trans­port Au­thor­ity (RSTA) on De­cem­ber 1st this year.

The Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the price re­duc­tion on petrol and diesel on 11th Novem­ber this year and it is said that, it is the gift from a throne to the gen­eral pub­lic for their ben­e­fit.

How­ever, the price of diesel and petrol has come down dras­ti­cally still there is no change in the rate of taxi fare within the Thim­phu mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Peo­ple here in Thim­phu are pay­ing same fare for the taxis de­spite of re­vised price fixed by the RSTA.

Tashi Dorji, a com­muter said, he is pay­ing Nu.80 till heart of Thim­phu town from Changzam­tog as there is no city bus ser­vices. When he asked about the re­vised rate to taxi driv­ers, driv­ers are say­ing they haven’t heard any re­vised rate.

It has been months from the time when the Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the price re­duc­tion in the petrol and diesel and still there is no change in the rate of taxi fare. “It would be good for the peo­ple who travel daily for work if RSTA could in­ves­ti­gate on rate of fare.”

As per the re­vised rate fixed by RSTA for the buses and taxis, the re­vised rate for taxi is Nu.18 per km and Nu.1.46 per km for buses. Be­fore it was Nu. 20 for taxis and Nu.1.56 for the buses per kilo­me­tre.

Dorji Wangchuk from Thim­phu Taxi Tshogpa said, he was not in­formed by the RSTA about the re­vised rate and he is not aware about it. Nei­ther had he re­ceived any in­for­ma­tion nor asked to take ac­tion on the re­vised rate.

Dorji Wangchuk said that dur­ing the for­mer Gov­ern­ment, they re­ceived a book about the rates and said that the rate book is still with him. Serv­ing as Tshogpa for al­most 15 years, he said that they should call him for the dis­cus­sion about the re­vised rate but RSTA didn’t give any no­ti­fi­ca­tion about it.

Mean­while, Kin­ley, 33 years old taxi driver said, to im­ple­ment the­o­ret­i­cally is fine but when it comes prac­ti­cally they are fac­ing prob­lem with the rate of the taxi which are fixed by RSTA.

Kin­ley said that to drive pas­sen­ger for Nu. 18 for a kilo­me­tre is just a waste of fuel and time and it will be to­tal waste for us. “It will be bet­ter for us if RSTA could keep rate at Nu. 80 per kilo­me­tre at max­i­mum.” Peo­ple can travel at the rate of Nu. 80 till four kilo­me­tres and ex­ceed­ing four kilo­me­tre again to charge ex­tra, he added.

Chief Trans­port Of­fi­cer with Road Safety and Trans­port Au­thor­ity (RSTA) Karma Pemba said, the RSTA had in­formed gen­eral pub­lic about the re­vised rate through me­dia and so­cial me­dia too but he added that he is in doubt how it come that the taxi driv­ers didn’t hear about the re­vised rate.

Karma Pemba said that for the buses they are charg­ing with the re­vised price only be­cause we can watch from the bus ter­mi­nal and keep ac­count but for those taxis es­pe­cially lo­cal one it’s quite chal­leng­ing to keep a watch be­cause we can­not reach in­di­vid­ual taxi to in­ves­ti­gate and charge them.

How­ever, he said, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the peo­ple to lodge com­plaint to RSTA if they are be­ing charged more by the taxi. In­stead they keep shout­ing about the rate with­out approaching con­cern au­thor­ity.

“I sug­gest gen­eral pub­lic to lodge com­plaint in writ­ten form so that they can charge par­tic­u­lar taxi driver with ev­i­dence and prof or else they can even down­load mo­bile Apps called Druk Trans­port for the rate,” he added.

Fur­ther, Karma Pemba said that, it will take some time to change as it was im­ple­mented re­cently and they are go­ing to re­view on this mat­ter.

It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the peo­ple to lodge com­plaint to RSTA if they are be­ing charged more by the taxi. In­stead they keep shout­ing about the rate with­out approaching con­cern au­thor­ity.

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