Auto drivers divided over fare reduction

Autorickshaw drivers in the City might have been unnerved by the fare war unleashed by private taxi operators. But they are divided in their stand on seeking reduction in fares to meet the competition from various private taxi service operators.

While a handful of them find reduction in fares a convenient option to woo more commuters to use autorickshaws, others find it an unconvincing solution to the complex issue.

The number of people choosing to board autorickshaws in the City has gone down considerably after taxi service providers have slashed the rates even below auto fares.

Individual auto drivers have been considering requesting the government to bring down auto fares. However, auto unions have taken a stand against the move.
Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU) General Secretary Rudramurthy, said a definite no to approaching the government to reduce fares.

“The cost of lining is so high. It was we who sought an increase in the fares last December and do not want them to roll it back. Even LPG rates have not gone down and bringing down fares would mean a tough livelihood,” he added.

‘Mend your ways’

Rudramurthy said if auto drivers mended their ways and had a more customer friendly approach, they would do a better job. “There are repeated cases of misbehaviour. Some of them overcharge customers while a few others refuse to take customers to the destination. All these are negative factors that make customers chose taxis over auto,” he remarked.

“If they work promptly, it is not tough to gain their faith.”

Nava Karnataka Auto Drivers’ Association president Naveed Khan said they would not request for fares to be brought down.

He said all unions would have a meeting where a unanimous decision would be taken on dealing with the issue.

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