• Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Covid restrictions: Buses to carry at 50% capacity, fare hike likely

  • Published at 05:03 pm March 29th, 2021
Coronavirus bus
Dhaka Tribune

As per the guidelines, public transport is directed to comply with hygiene rules and not carry more than 50% of its carrying capacity

The Prime Minister's Office has issued an 18-point directive as coronavirus infection is on the rise around the country. 

As per the guidelines, public transport is directed to comply with hygiene rules and not carry more than 50% of its carrying capacity. 

BRTA also announced a decision to send a proposal to the ministry to increase fares by 60% on public transport. 

In addition, inter-city traffic in high-risk areas has been asked to be restricted or closed entirely.

Although such instructions were given on Monday, such a decision has not been implemented in public transportation as of now. 

Nur Mohammad Majumder, chairman of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), the transport regulator, told Bengali Tribune: “50% of the seats will be filled after BRTA's proposal to increase fares is approved. Not before that.”

We have held a meeting today regarding the re-determination of fares after receiving 18-point instructions from the government. The meeting decided to send a proposal to the ministry to manage the transport in the same manner as the fare was fixed in March 2020, he added.

Majumder also said after the approval of the proposal, the owners will abide by the instructions to move 50% carry capacity. Because, if the transportation is operated at the current fare leaving half the seats vacant, the owners will incur losses. 

He added that the government's approval will be required to increase the fares. Since tomorrow (Tuesday) is a public holiday of Shab-e-Barat. So the decision of the ministry may come the next day, the chairman added. 

Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association and general secretary of the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, told Bengali Tribune: "If half the passengers are transported before the fare is fixed, the owners will suffer. The owners will not want to carry passengers at half price.”

They said the government's approval would be required to determine the fare and number of passengers. 

We hope that the "as many seats as passengers" rule will remain in place until the proposal is approved, Khandaker further said.

However, he also expressed frustration, saying: "Police are filing cases against busses in various places as the issue of fare rescheduling has not yet taken effect. We have informed the BRTA about the matter. They have assured us that they will take action. "

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