ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI - Commuters and citizens have protested against increase in public transport fares as the Punjab Transport Authority (PTA) has put unbearable weight on the shoulder of layman by issuing new fare list.
According to new rates, the concerned authority increased fares of local route public transport (buses, mini-buses, wagons and Suzuki pick-ups) from Rs12 to Rs15 stop-by-stop, from Rs18 to Rs20 (4.1 kilometres to 8 kilometres), from Rs22 to Rs25 (8.1 kilometres to 14 kilometres), from Rs25 to Rs30 (14.1kilometres to 22 kilometres) and from Rs27 to Rs35 (22.1 kilometres to 30 kilometres). While for travel of more than 30 kilometres, the PTA has fixed the fare at Rs40.
Meanwhile, Suzuki and Rickshaw drivers increased fare by Rs 3and Rs 2 respectively while the current increase in transport fares triggered violence between commuters and the drivers as the commuters are reluctant to accept new fare rates.
“Public transporters were already charging high fares but the government once again totally ignored the interest of the common man and provided relief to them” said a group of commuters.
The commuters demanded of the Punjab government to take notice of the situation and to issue directive in this regard.
INP adds: The commuters in the twin cities, despite cut in the prices of petroleum products and CNG, have been forced to pay the previous fare and they have demanded of the Punjab government to revise fare list for public transport.
The commuters while talking to INP complained that there was no justification for increase in the public transport fares because there was no increase in the fuel prices which have been brought down by about ten percent.
Syed Ibrar Hussain, a private organization employee, said that he has to travel from Saddar to F-6 to attend office on daily basis and pay Rs30 as fare. He said the latest transport fares increase would badly affect his budget.
Shazia Akbar, a student said that latest increase in fare of public transport by Punjab government was an absolute injustice with commuters, adding that fare was increased under the pretext of increase in prices of petroleum product and CNG.She said now that the POL prices have been lowered, the fares should also be reduced proportionately.
The commuters complained that public transport in the twin cities is the worst in the country demanding that a decent transport facility should be immediately launched in order to give some relief to travellers.
The commuters also complained that during the CNG loadshedding, the transporters charge extra fares from them, claiming they were running on petrol.