Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Saturday, August 8, 2020 06:19:20 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

'Unacceptable': Plan to hike bus fares by 80pc draws flak

photo by

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

The government's plans to increase transport fares by 80 percent while halving the passenger load have been met with widespread criticism as buses begin to hit the roads again after a two-month hiatus amid the coronavirus crisis.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh or CAB has called for bus fares to be slashed with fuel prices being reduced to make up the potential shortfall. Jatri Kalyan Samity, another organisation championing passengers’ rights, made a similar call.
Leaders of leftist parties Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal and Bangladesh Communist Party also spoke out against the proposed fare hike.
The public transport system along with offices and workplaces reopened on Sunday after the government decided against extending a nationwide lockdown that had been in effect since Mar 26 to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, buses have been ordered to carry a maximum of 50 percent of its passenger capacity as part of the efforts to maintain social distancing rules.
To address the financial losses facing transport companies, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority or BRTA proposed an 80 percent increase in bus fares. Transport owners have announced that bus and minibuses will from Monday onwards once the road transport ministry has approved the proposal.
“A large part of the population has already suffered a drop in their earnings during the two-month lockdown. The mooted 80 percent increase in the bus fare to recover the financial losses of the bus owners is unacceptable,” CAB said in a statement.
“The government can announce an incentive package, subsidies or low-interest loans to address the issue, as it did for other industrial sectors,” it said.
It is possible to lower fuel prices as global oil prices have dropped to its lowest level in two decades, according to CAB.  “It’ll ensure that the fare is reduced even while maintaining the social distancing requirements.”
CAB thanked the government and owners for not increasing the fare in rail and water transports.
Transport workers began preparing buses at Gabtoli Terminal in Dhaka on Thursday as bus, launch and train services are set to resume on May 31 after more than two months of shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove
Besides opposing the increased fare in the public transports during the coronavirus crisis, Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity urged the government to stop ‘extortionist practices’ in the sector.
"The government should reduce fuel prices before the public transport operations resumes, so that they can continue charging the same fare as before," Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, secretary-general of Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity said in a statement.
“A bus or minibus running in the capital have to pay on average Tk 1,200 to 1,800 each day to operate. A Laguna pays Tk 800 to 1,000 per day. All of these are reported in the media,” he said.
The public transport services can continue even at half capacity while maintaining the hygiene rules if the government eliminates the 'extortion fees', he said.
The BSD, in a statement, condemned the BRTA's proposed 80 percent fare hike, labelling the plan ‘unlawful and illogical’. It will ‘create an added burden’ on the people, its leaders said.
“People are already suffering a lot during the pandemic. The government has lifted the lockdown without consulting experts while shirking its duties and pushing the people towards death. To rub salt on the wounds, it is considering increasing fares of the public transports by 80 percent,” BSD General Secretary Khalequzzaman said in a  tatement.    
He also cast doubt on whether Dhaka's public transport services can operate while adhering to health and social distancing directives.
“We urge the government not to reopen everything to serve the interests of a few businessmen and reconsider the decision to lift the ban on public transports, which will put citizens' lives in danger,” he said.
The government should instead follow the lead of other countries and cut transport fares amid the pandemic, former CPB President Manzurul Ahsan Khan told bdnews24.com.
“The fares should be decreased even if it's through a subsidy,” he said.
Masudur Rahman Rana, a small entrepreneur living in Rampura, also expressed doubts over the viability of the decision requiring buses to operate at half the passenger capacity.
“Generally, hundreds of people wait for a bus to catch on the streets of Dhaka. The buses are overcrowded during the peak hours and it becomes almost impossible to get on board. I don’t think it’ll be possible for any bus to follow the health and hygiene rules under the circumstances. It’ll be a big challenge to manage it,” he said.

Source: bdnews24.com

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Life at risk of illegal, unsafe electric connections in city

PEOPLE in the flood-hit area are also at risk of electrocution as many residents have taken power connections using bamboo poles and hooks. As the authorities concerned are indifferent to the consumers' demand for power connections in a proper way, people were compelled to get the connections. On the other ...

City »

Members of RAB-4 detain five frauds including four Nigerian citizens from the city's Kafrul and Pallabi thana areas on Friday.


Football »

Flamengo eye move for Argentinian defender Vigo

Agency :Flamengo have initiated talks with Newell's Old Boys about a possible deal to sign defender Alex Vigo, according to the player's agent.The interest comes as the reigning Brazilian Serie A champions seek a backup for former Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha, who will turn 35 next month."It's true that Flamengo ...

Business & Economy »

China exports see unexpected spike in July, imports down

AFP, Beijing :China saw another surprise jump in exports last month as the global economy slowly reopened after virus lockdowns, data showed Friday, but there were warnings that while the country is expected to get back on track by year's end overseas shipments would likely struggle.The readings, however, showed an ...

Editorial »

We mourn deaths in Beirut blast and demand proper investigation

A SERIES of small, silly mistakes, bureaucratic indifference and greed over a period of time can lead to deadly disasters of huge proportions. In Lebanon, this happened on Tuesday when a blast sent black, orange mushroom clouds high up in the air and a powerful shock wave in all directions, ...

Business & Economy »

Japanese FM in UK for post-Brexit trade talks

Japan's foreign minister on Wednesday began a three-day trip to Britain in a bid to wrap up negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement.Toshimitsu Motegi will meet British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss during his visit which will see two days of economic talks.It will be ...

International »

Pompeo offers $10m reward over election interference

AFP :Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the United States would offer a $10 million reward to arrest any state actor who interferes in the November elections.US intelligence has said that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Donald Trump, especially though manipulation of social media.The United States ...

Sports »

`Slim to none` - Kyrgios unlikely for French Open

Nick Kyrgios dropped a huge hint Thursday that he will skip the French Open, saying the chances of him travelling to Europe this year were "slim to none".The opinionated Australian last week pulled out of the upcoming US Open in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic, with world number ...

Football »

Manchester City sign Dutch defender Ake from Bournemouth

English Premier League side Manchester City announced on Wednesday that Dutch international Nathan Ake has signed a five-year deal with the club to the summer of 2025.The 25-year-old defender, departing from relegated Bournemouth, became City's second signing of this summer after the club completed the signing with Spaniard Ferran Torres ...

City »

Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal forms a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Thursday marking Hiroshima Day.

City »

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury hands over a book on 'Bangabandhu's Unfinished Biography' to the Chief Representative of JICA in Bangladesh Yuhohayakawa when the latter calls on him at the ministry on Thursday.

Editorial »

Set strategy to recoup education after pandemic

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the world set to face a generational catastrophe because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. The states must take appropriate action to return students to the classroom. As of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, ...

International »

Trump says he will `probably` give Republican nomination speech from White House

Reuters :US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will probably give his Republican presidential nomination speech live from the White House, although the plans have not been confirmed yet."We're thinking about it. We're thinking about doing it from the White House," he said in an interview with Fox News. ...

Health »

Kids under 5 are more prone to SARS-CoV-2

Dr. Muhammad Torequl Islam :For a long time it has been considered that children and young people are fairly safe from the risk of incidence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection than the others. Besides, many facts, the big reasons behind this are that since children spend most of their ...

City »

`Bangladesh Chhatra Adhikar Parishad` forms a human chain in front of the National Museum in the city on Wednesday demanding trial of former army official Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan killing.


Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news