Bus owners demand 40% increase in fares

Transport owners have demanded that maximum fare of diesel-powered bus and minibuses be increased by more than 40% per kilometre.

They made the demand at a fare review meeting with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Sunday, amid a nationwide public and cargo transport strike that started Friday morning in protest against a recent hike in diesel price, according to media reports.

The transport owners proposed to increase the bus fare in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan areas by 41% to Tk2.40 per kilometre and for minibuses by 50% to Tk2.40 per kilometre.

They also asked for a 41% increase – by Tk2 per kilometre -- in the long-distance bus fares.

On the other hand, BRTA officials proposed Tk1.82 and Tk2.10 per kilometre fare hikes for long route and intra-city buses, respectively. 

Since 2015, the government-approved fare for buses, which operate inside Dhaka and Chittagong cities, was Tk1.60 per km and Tk1.80 per km for minibuses. 

In 2016, the fare for long-distance diesel-powered buses and minibuses was set at Tk1.42.

Sunday’s meeting had started at around 11:30am at the BRTA office in Mohakhali, Dhaka. The meeting was still underway until 4pm.

BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder, Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association Secretary General Khandker Enayet Ullah, Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners Association Assistant General Secretary Rakesh Ghosh, and representatives from several government agencies and transport-related bodies, including the Bangladesh Transport Workers’ Federation, are attending the meeting.

On Wednesday, the government had increased the diesel and kerosene prices by Tk15 per litre — from Tk65 to Tk80 — in order to keep them in line with rising fuel prices in the international market.

Protesting the sudden hike, different associations of public and cargo transport owners and workers on Friday launched the strike for an indefinite period, inconveniencing commuters across the country.

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