LAHORE - The Lahore Transport Company has quietly introduced increase in fare at intra-city routes.

The company last week made an increase of Rs5 in stop-to-stop fare at the routes dedicated for foreign CNG buses.

An official told The Nation that foreign firms enjoy millions of rupees subsidy by running only 350 buses in Lahore.

The LTC had made huge announcements when it slightly slashed fare at city routes some four months ago. But the fare cut announced in March remained confined to papers as the transporters continued to fleece the passengers.

On the other hand, the fare for vehicles being run through petrol and diesel remained unchanged. According to official sources, most of these vehicles have been owned by local transports.

According to the increased table, the minimum stop-to-stop fare was set Rs20 for CNG buses.

A passenger who picks a bus from Muslim Town Mor will have to pay Rs20 to reach at Ichhra (less than a kilometer).

Similarly, the fare from Jinnah Hospital to Railway Station was increased from Rs30 to Rs35.

Passengers were seen arguing and clashing with the bus staff after they were charged extra. “I pay Rs20 from Muslim Town to Railways Station but why you are you charging me Rs30 for the same destination,” a commuter was arguing with the ticket collector of a bus run between Liaquatabad and Railway Station.

Commuters also criticised the government for using such tactics to appease their favourite firms.

The LTC has been regulating the transport affairs of the company for more than a decade but badly failed to address the commuters’ woes.

“They (the LTC) just make publicity of non-issues and have been minting money from poor commuters. Where are their pink-buses, and e-ticketing service,” the commuters asked.

However, an LTC spokesperson justified the increase. “It has been made because of raise in CNG prices,” he clarified.

According to the spokesman, the bus operators had been requesting the LTC for months for the increase in fare. But, he added, the LTC accepted their request last week and made only a “small” increase in fare.