Authorities have increased bus fares by as much as 22 percent, effective from Sunday, following a record hike in fuel oil prices.
Passengers will be charged Tk 2.20 per kilometre on long routes, which is Tk 0.40 or 22 percent more on long routes, according to a new decision.
The authorities raised bus fares by Tk 0.35, or 16.27 percent to Tk 2.50 per kilometre in Dhaka and Chattogram city areas.
In other cities, it was raised to Tk 2.20 from Tk 1.70 per kilometre. In the areas around Dhaka, the fare will be Tk 2.8 per kilometre, compared to Tk 2.5 previously.
The new fares were announced after a meeting between the officials of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and transport owners on Saturday.
The minimum fare has been kept unchanged at Tk 10. It is Tk 8 for minibuses.
The new rates will be applicable to diesel-run buses, BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder said.
Road Transport and Highways Secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association Secretary General Khandaker Enayet Ullah, representatives of transport workers and police officers were also present.
The highest ever fuel price hike in Bangladesh’s history has left passengers and coach operators equally frustrated as the former group is forced to pay higher fares, while transport owners scaled down services to save cost.
The prices of diesel and kerosene were increased by 42.5 percent to Tk 114 per litre, petrol prices were fixed at Tk 130 a litre, a 51.16 percent jump, while octane prices rose 51.68 percent to Tk 135 on Friday.
Last November, the government raised the price of diesel and kerosene by Tk 15 to Tk 80 per litre. Afterwards, coach fares rose nearly 27 percent, much higher than the corresponding jump in fuel prices.
Most of the fuel oil imported by Bangladesh is used in the transport sector. Hours before the announcement of the fuel oil price hike, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said it would not affect the costs in the sector much.
The government in a statement defended the decision to raise fuel oil prices, citing the global rise due to the Russia-Ukraine war amid bolstered economic activities during the recovery from the pandemic.
In the notice, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said it had proposed to raise bus fare on the long routes by 16.22 percent and in the cities by 13.16 percent.
Osman Ali, general secretary of Road Transport Workers Association, said in a break during the meeting he saw less possibility of the proposed fares being passed. “These may increase much,” he said. Finally, after the negotiation, the authorities announced the new rates.
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation crunched the proposed numbers by considering fuel costs as 45 percent of total operating costs in the transport sector and came up with statistical figures of how much the fuel price hike may impact the sector.
New launch fares are yet to be fixed. BPC data suggested the operational cost of launches will rise to Tk 2.62 from Tk 2.19 per kilometre per passenger due to the diesel price hike.