The cost of riding in taxis and rickshaws in Mumbai is set to go up with the state approving a hike in base fare by Rs 3 each. Transport Minister Anil Parab on Monday announced that the base fare for auto-rickshaws will now increase from Rs 18 to Rs 21 while for taxis, it will increase to Rs 25 from Rs 22. The last fare hike took place in 2015 when the base fares were increased by Rs 1 each for both autos and taxis.
The fare hike, applicable for the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region, will be effective from March 1.
For rickshaws, the charge for every additional kilometre over the base fare has been hiked by Rs 2.21 per km to Rs 14.2, while for taxis, the hike per km is Rs 2.09 to Rs 16.93.
As per the new tariff, a 5-km ride that cost Rs 61 in a rickshaw will now cost Rs 71, while a similar taxi ride for the same distance which cost Rs 74, will now cost around Rs 84.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) gave its approval to increase the minimum fare in a meeting on Monday.
“The fare hike will be in effect from March 1 in the MMR region. Rickshaw and taxi drivers will need to get their meters calibrated by May 30. From June 1, the updated fare will be visible on the meter. Till then, the fare will be collected as per the tariff card,” said Parab. Officials said the tariff card will be issued by the transport department which will be put up in autos and taxis.
Parab added that the fare hike has been decided as per the Khatua Committee criteria. “Several factors, such as the price of vehicles, insurance, CNG, interest on loan, licence fees and consumer index are taken into account to revise the fare,” he said.
“As per the rules of the Khatua committee, if there is an increase of more than 50 paise by June every year, then it should be given in the same year itself. This fare hike was due for a long time. While the transport department helped several sections of the transportation sector through tax waiver, we could not do so for auto-taxi drivers. The hike will provide some relief to them,” Parab added.
The minister further said there has been a rise in the prices of petrol, diesel and CNG. “Auto and taxi drivers are a small section of society and the government should help them,” he said, adding that the fares of share auto-rickshaws and taxis will also be revised.
Welcoming the fare hike, taxi unions said they would soon calibrate the meters for it. “We are happy with the fare hike. We will get the meters calibrated by May 30 or before that,” said AL Quadros, leader of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union.