Govt hikes bus fare by 60%

Govt hikes bus fare by 60%

The government has increased fares for public buses by 60% with effect from June 1, 2020.

The announcement was made through a circular issued by the Road, Transport and Bridges Ministry on Sunday afternoon.

It also said that the fare hike will applicable only during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis period. Previous fare rates will be reinstated as soon as the crisis ends.

The circular also put conditions for public transports while carrying passengers after resumption of their services.

It mentioned two passengers cannot sit together and maintain social distancing. One seat has to be kept vacant between two passengers.

At the same time, buses cannot carry more passengers that the number of seats mentioned as per their registration certificates. No standing passengers will be allowed.

Health guidelines need to be followed while transporting passengers.

The circular also said the new fare chart will be calculated adding the new fare mentioned in the circular with existing fare rate.

Earlier in the day, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, during a videoconference from his residence in Dhaka, said: “The proposed bus fare by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) will be reduced.”

On Saturday, BRTA recommended raising bus fare by 80% in order to compensate bus owners carrying 50 percent less passengers to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

Quader said 80% increased bus fare will be an extra burden on the people at this moment.

"The government is going to adjust a logical bus fare according to the financial ability of the people," he added.

Quader said passengers have been told to maintain a three-foot distance from each other all the time.

Passengers, drivers, helpers, and ticket sellers must wear face masks while hand sanitizer, soaps and hand washing facilities must be available at terminals.

The government on Thursday issued a gazette notification allowing limited operation of public transport and offices from May 31 to June 15 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It said public transports – buses, trains and vessels – will have to maintain health guidelines.

All government, semi-government and autonomous offices will resume under self-management but ailing staff and pregnant women have been asked to refrain from joining work, the notification said.

On May 3, 2016, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) re-fixed fare of long-route buses at Tk 1.42 per kilometer reducing it by three paisa across the country except Dhaka, its adjacent areas and Chittagong metropolitan cities.