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share autorickshaws operators increased their fares upto 30%

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Say it was a minimum ₹7 and a maximum ₹8 earlier, but now it is a flat rate of ₹10 irrespective of distance

The recent move by share autorickshaws operators to increase their fares by about 30% in the city has caused discontent among commuters.

Earlier, share autorickshaw operators collected ₹7 as minimum and ₹8 as maximum. They charged ₹7 for the first three stops. If the commuters travelled beyond three stops, they had to pay ₹8.

Recently, this slab system was abandoned and a flat rate of ₹10 is now being collected, irrespective of the distance.

The new fare system has not gone down well with the public. Though the fare revision has not caught the attention of occasional users of share autos, it has affected regular commuters.

Until recently, share auto travel was considered as the cheapest mode of motor transport in the city. Moreover, many felt that it was a convenient mode of transport as they could alight and board wherever they wished on the permitted route.

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“The fare is ₹9 for travelling up to K.K. Nagar from Central Bus Stand in bus. Now, it ₹10 in share autorickshaws. There was no prior announcement of the new rate system. It was implemented all of a sudden,” laments P. Murugan of Lalgudi, a regular user of share autorickshaw.

But, share autoriskshaw operators contend that the hike is nominal considering the increase in fuel prices and operational costs.

“We face intense competition from bus operators. Buses are available every three to four minutes on almost all routes in the city. The convenience factor is the main attraction for passengers to travel with us. Overheads, including maintenance and diesel costs, is going up steadily very month. Hence, we cannot be expected to collect the fares, which was introduced about 5 years ago,” said a share auto driver operating on the Central Bus Stand- K.K. Nagar route.

However, he concedes that the fare revision appears to have had an impact on patronage. Prior to the fare revision, he says there was no problem in getting passengers, and some were even ready to travel standing despite the discomfort.

But, there appears to have been a drop in the number of commuters opting for share autos. Besides,. transport and police officials have issued a stern warning against overloading in share autorickshaws.

(source : The Hindu)

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