Excess fare demands by Autos

Suddenly, from last week, we have been hearing of instances of autorickshaws demanding excess base fare as well as higher rates per kilometre from users. They have some xeroxed sheets wtih them to support their claims.

BTRAC (Benagaluru Traffic Police) clarifies that no increase of auto fares have yet occurred, so consumers are warned not to pay the excess fare asked for. The base rate for the first three km continues to be Rs. 12 and there is no change. Of course, if the consumer wishes to pay a little extra to a courteous driver, that is entirely between the two of them.

I close this notification with a picture of the most usual way one auto driver helps another on his way….

Auto foot-push 301107

Let’s also remember that not all autos are villains; it is, after all, a tough life for them…

7 Comments so far

  1. Rooh (unregistered) on January 21st, 2008 @ 2:45 am

    Correct me if im wrong, but isnt it Rs12 for the first Two kilometers? or has that changed too?

    Gosh its been so long since ive had to suffer a rickshaw in Bangalore!

  2. Sudeep (unregistered) on January 21st, 2008 @ 7:58 am

    It should be Rs 12 for the first two kms not the first three.

  3. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on January 21st, 2008 @ 8:55 am

    As a rule, unless a newspaper notification is issued by the authorities concerned – Regional Transport Authorities or the Bengaluru traffic police – excess ninimum or base fare cannot be charged from the auto commuters.

    From my personal experience in Hyderabad, I found after the autos are mandated to fix digital meters (in place of manual meters), there are fewer instances of roadside brawls over excess fare charges and meter-tampering. One finds 20 to 30 percent fare variation over a km distance between digital and manual or mechanical meters. In mechanical meters, the tampering percentage (called meter setting) varies between 20 to 40 per cent – to that extent a commuter loses his money in paying charges.

    Though there was stiff resistance from the autosdrivers (1.30 lakh autos ply in Hyderabad, only 36,000 are owners the remaining drivers), a tough woman transport Commissioner Poonam Malakondaiah and Transport Minister K Lakshminarayana had overcome the powerful unionised auto workers and swa to it that come round in fixing digital meters. There may be blackshepp here and there but by and large after digital meters came into vogue, exploitation of commuters has come down, going by the street brawls and complaints.

    Tough measures and mandatory fixing of digital meters help in fair deal to commuters. Aboutthe base fare, the respective state government can arrive at an understanding with the auto worksforce.

    If an autodriver does not earn Rs 300 to 400 a day after meeting his vehicle rentals of Rs 200 or Rs 250 for a 24-hour hire, Rs 150 to 200 oil, CNG or gas bill, Rs 100 daily expenses (all compulsory), there is no meaning in operating an auto. For an auto to be viable, it has to earn Rs 800 to 1,000 during a 24-hr rental period.

    Hence they demand minimum base fare of Rs 10 to Rs 15.

  4. xylene (unregistered) on January 21st, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

    I saw this ‘auto helping another’ at madiwala on Sunday morning. :D
    I thought of taking a picture and posting it on my blog.
    is it the same incident or is it a usual thing around here?

  5. Ulhas Anand (unregistered) on January 21st, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

    Hello All,

    Here’s some “Freakonomics”!

    The distance between Bangalore and New Delhi is given as 2061 Kms. Calculating at Rs. 2/km for the 1st 2 kms and Rs. 6 for every KM thereafter, a hypothetical auto fare works out to Rs. 12,366!

    Assuming 3 people (maximum allowed in an auto rickshaw) travel, the cheapest airfare is Rs. 9,750 (on yatra.com) and on Indian Railways – the fare for 1st class AC is Rs. 10,731.

    This is not even “one-and-half saar”!

    Just a thought :)

    BTW, one tip – the quick double turn of the non-electronic meter in an auto in Bangalore loads a spring (?) that makes it run faster than the heart rate. If you encounter, ask politely to turn the meter again with just one turn. That is, if the driver complies. I have experienced changing 3-4 autos due to the driver’s refusal to do so.

  6. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2008 @ 8:16 am

    One advantage of digital meters (as against mechanical meters with vast scope for tampering) is a commuter can insist on `zero’ reading at the start or boarding point (RTA rules stipulate it. Even the meters carry the cautionary note to commuters to ensure the meter starts from `zero’ reading as the blinkers indicate). The scope for widespread exploitation or fleecing of passengers (city commuters) is less compared to mechanical meters – where the meter runs faster than the auto wheels often, making holes in passengers’ pockets.

    From an autodriver point, they too face many problems when zipping through the frustrating traffic tail-backs and gridlocks in many cities. Night riding, often past midnight they are vulnerable to attacks, and looting by anti-socials and lawless elements when transporting to city outskirts from airports, bus stations and railway stations. In effect they operate vehicles about 12 to 14 hours a day minus midnight to morning 6 or 7 and minus annoyng traffic zams which take away one or two hours before they hand over autos to owners by 8 pm.

    a vigilant traffic and RTA system in place can ensure relatively hassel-free auto rides in metros or small towns. share autos or seven seats are different. Conditions vary from city to city.

  7. anita (unregistered) on January 24th, 2008 @ 10:59 am

    i think auto drivers would actually earn double their daily income if they actually started taking passengers where they want to go!

    on a recent trip to mumbai, it was such a thrill to just sit in the first auto i hailed, and then tell him where i wanted to go. no faces, no rejection – that’s the attitude that will earn them money. not what they display here – gross indifference to plain rejection.

    i am only happy to pay more if they would learn a few lessons on how to go about their business in a professional manner.

    on a day when i have to catch an auto, i am usually rejected by at least 4-5 or even more before i can find one to take me to my destination – no matter where it is!

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