Sherab Lhamo

Taxis charge Nu 120 to 150 per passenger to go reserve locally, which is in violation according to Road Safety And Transport Regulations 2021. Now, Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority (BCTA) will take strict actions against violators with public support.

Taxi drivers found not following the revised rates will face penalties under Section 258 and fined Nu 1,000 along with refund for excess fare charged.

Passengers can request fare charts, mandatory in or with all taxis, and report overcharging to BCTA through email or call with proof.

“There is no difference in night and day charges for taxi and bus fares,” said a BCTA official.

Every six months, the Bhutan Taxi Association submit the monthly taxi costs to BCTA.

BCTA calculates the average cost from these submissions and then adjusts it equally for all regions,which is sent to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for final approval.

The official said the review is based on the taxi fare computation model, which includes various factors like annual recurring expenses, registration and renewal, insurance premium, fitness test, driver’s salaries, overall operational costs.

These revised fares need approval from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

Taxi and Bus fare in the country are revised every six months.

According to Chapter five, Section 263, taxi drivers must prioritise the first hirer (passenger) and may not pick up additional passengers if the taxi has been solely reserved. However, cost-sharing with additional passengers is allowed, if the hirer allows it.

Fare adjustments are made if there is a five percent or more increase or decrease from existing fares.

For example, in August, the rate of taxi fare intra-city (locally) was Nu 24.06, Nu 24.14 for February. This shows a change of less than 5 percent, so BCTA maintained the previous fare.

The taxi fare rate for this year has been revised. For intra-city travel, the fare per km for five- to six-seater taxis is Nu 24.06, for 7- to 8-seater is Nu 26.70, and for 9- to-12 seater is Nu 30.81.

For intercity travel, the rates are Nu 22.08, Nu 24.71, and Nu 28.53 respectively.

The revised taxi and bus fare can be found on the BCTA website.