Taxis at the City Bus parking area in Thimphu

No fare revision for buses and taxis until March next year

Although the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) notified the revised fare of public transport buses and taxis from October 1, many complain that the taxi drivers are not following the rates.

RSTA revised Nu 2 for taxis, Nu 20 from Nu 18 a km, and Nu 0.08 to Nu 0.15 for public transport buses based on the category because of the increase in fuel price and other operating expenses.

Many people took to social media to complain about the issue and question why RSTA is not monitoring the taxi fares.

People travelling in taxis say that the fuel prices have decreased a few days ago but RSTA is not lowering the fare. Some said they are waiting for RSTA and police to reduce the fare.

A student of Kelki School, Phendhen Norbu, said he uses a taxi while coming to school and going home.

He said he used to pay Nu 30 from Changjiji to town but now taxi drivers are charging Nu 35.

But taxi drivers claim they follow the RSTA rules.

A taxi driver, Ikta Bdr Rai, said the maintenance cost that they spend is very high compared to the past. “I still comply with the RSTA rate and personally I didn’t receive any complaint from any passengers.”   

Meanwhile, RSTA officials claim they conduct assessments every six months in operating and other costs for passenger buses and taxis and if there is an impact for the public and operators, the fare is revised. 

RSTA’s planning officer, Leki Choda, said that the last revised fare was finalised after the assessment for the first phase of the financial year 2018-2019.

He said the next assessment will be carried out between December and January and the revised fare will come in to effect from March next year. “Till that period there will be no fare revision even if the fuel price comes down or increases beyond.”

Leki Choda said that the authority will keep the record on how and when the fuel price changes based on the report from the Department of Trade and also compile the information collected from the regional offices.

“The authority would then check the average in the change of fuel price  and know how much to increase or decrease,” he said. “After getting all the operating cost and expenditure, it will be punched into the system and the revision is generated automatically by the system.”

He, however, said the general public and the transport operators should comply with the rate fixed by RSTA and should not compromise the fare.

Nim Dorji   

Additional reporting by Pema Rinzin

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