Fuel price cut will benefit bus owners only, not travellers: Passenger Welfare Association

Previous fare cuts by Tk 0.03 or 0.05 per kilometre did not benefit passengers

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 1 April 2024, 02:44 PM
Updated : 1 April 2024, 02:44 PM

The decision to cut fares of diesel-run buses by Tk 0.03 per kilometre following a fuel price adjustment will benefit the owners only, not the travellers, the Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh has said.

The association in a statement on Monday described the move to cut the fares as a “joke with the nation”, saying it will not be effective and the bus owners will take the advantage of the oil price cuts.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority or BRTA recommended the adjustment of bus fares as the government reduced the prices of kerosene and diesel by Tk 2.25 per litre for April in line with a monthly readjustment system.

As part of its automatic fuel price coordination, the government reduced the prices in two phases. Diesel price has dropped by a total of Tk 3 in these phases.

The road transport and bridges ministry approved the BRTA recommendation and in a notice, it fixed bus and minibus fares on inter-district and long routes at Tk 2.12 per kilometre.

In Dhaka and Chattogram cities, the fare will be Tk 2.42 per kilometre. The minimum bus and minibus fares in the cities have been kept unchanged at Tk 10 and Tk 8 respectively.

The fare on the routes under Dhaka Road Transport Coordination Authority in Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Manikganj and Dhaka district will be Tk 2.32 a kilometre.

Bus fares were revised for the last time in August 2022, when diesel price was cut by Tk 0.05 per litre.

At that time, long-haul bus fares were cut from Tk 2.20 to Tk 2.15 per kilometre. City bus fares dropped from Tk 2.50 to Tk 2.45.

The passenger group said the latest fare cut was disproportionate to the fall in diesel price.

Its Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said the association cannot say how much the fares should be cut because it has not analysed the readjustments, and they no longer are part of the government’s cost analysis committee.

He alleged the committee’s analysis did not appear to be reasonable when the association had its representatives in the panel.

“The decision won’t benefit people. The authorities previously declared to reduce bus fares by Tk 0.02 per kilometre in 2011 and by Tk 0.03 per kilometre in 2016, but the bus fares did not decrease.”

The association also called on the government to reduce both the public transport costs and fuel prices by a significant margin considering the affordability of people.