Bagmati government raises transportation fare; Transport entrepreneurs still unhappy

The Bagmati provincial government has increased the fare of public transportation by 23 percent. The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development, Bagmati has said that the new fare will be applied from October 18.

The minimum fare for public vehicles operating within the Kathmandu Valley has been fixed at Rs 18 for a distance of up to 5 km. For a distance of more than 5 km and up to 10 km, one will have to pay Rs 23; for a distance of 10 km to 15 km, the fare is Rs 27; for a distance of 15 km to 20 km, Rs 30; and for a distance above 20 km, one has to pay Rs 35.

Passengers will not have to pay for luggage up to 15 kg. However, it has been decided to charge additional fare at the rate of Rs 5 per kg for goods weighing more than 15 kg.

Vehicles with deluxe facilities will be allowed to take an additional 20 percent fare, but taxi fares have not been increased.

Transport entrepreneurs, however, have expressed their dissatisfaction saying that the increased fare was still not enough to cover their costs. They have warned to further increase the transportation fare by themselves if the government doesn’t revise the new fare.

According to Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of the Federation of Transport Entrepreneurs, the Department of Transport Management had agreed to increase the fare by 28 percent in April. At that time, the price of diesel was Rs 104 per liter and petrol was Rs 121 per liter.

Sitaula said that it was impractical and illogical to increase fares by only 23 percent when the price of diesel has reached Rs 113 and petrol Rs 129 per liter.

He warned that if the current fare rate is not reviewed, the Federation itself will increase transportation fares and implement it in all seven provinces of Nepal.

Earlier, transport entrepreneurs had staged a protest demanding an increase in public transport fares. They had stopped driving long as well as short route vehicles, causing great inconvenience to passengers leaving the Valley for Dashain celebrations.