Buses leaving Dhaka charge double fare

Even on the second day of Eid, the capital’s bus stations were packed with people confined to their homes. However, it has been alleged that buses from the capital charge customers extremely high fares, sometimes even double that. In particular, double fare is charged on AC buses.

Passengers complained about extra fares in a conversation with our correspondent who visited various bus terminals in the capital on the second day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Wednesday).

The government has not set the rate for Eid this time, which means that the usual rate set by the government should be in effect even on the day of Eid. But that was not the case.

As the government did not set any fares for AC buses earlier, carriers charge arbitrary fares for these buses.

Transport workers said that during Eid, buses had to return from outside the capital with almost no passengers. This additional rent is taken to compensate for this loss.

Transport experts say there is no legal or ethical basis for charging extra fares. They demanded immediate action from the government.

Ali Ashraf Sabuj, a passenger on the Shah Fateh Ali Paribahan bound for Bogra from Mohakhali inter-district bus station at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, told Business Standard that the AC bus fare from Dhaka to Bogra is Tk600. Now Tk1200 is loaded.

The situation is the same at Gabtoli and Saidabad bus stations.

Non-AC transport departing from the three inter-district bus stations in the capital has seen an increase of around 40% to 50%.

Sulman Mia, a passenger on a non-AC transport from Gabtoli to Rangpur, said, “I used to go to Rangpur on Eid-ul-Fitr day for 700/800 Tk. Today (Wednesday) I had to pay 1,100 Tk.”

Ramesh Chandra Ghosh, chairman of the Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners Association, said many passengers were talking about extra fares. But the fact is that bus owners offer various discounts throughout the year but do not during Eid.

Ramesh, also the owner of Shyamli Paribahan, said that usually if someone got off the bus before the destination, they would pay accordingly, but during Eid, even if they got off early, they had to pay full fare .

For example, he says, if one goes to Cox’s Bazar on a bus bound for Teknaf, one has to pay the Teknaf fare. The question is explained to the passengers. They must also consider the side of the owners, he added.

Secretary General of Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association, Md Mozammel Haque Chowdhury told TBS that the argument used by bus owners and authorities to charge extra fees is completely illegal.

Relevant government authorities are silent on this. Taking advantage of their indifference, transport owners have become reckless in charging extra fares.

He said a recent study by the Passenger Welfare Association revealed that transport owners will collect about Tk 8,000 crore in extra fares on the occasion of Eid this year.

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