If the current auto fares weren’t enough to burn a hole in your pocket, the auto rickshaw unions in the city are all set to dig a little deeper. They are pushing for reducing the waiting time from 100 seconds to 60.
They claim that due to the increased traffic congestion, they have to wait for a long time at traffic signals, thus wasting fuel in the process. If their demands are fulfilled, commuters will have to shell out extra money.
Only last year on October 15, the minimum auto fare was hiked from Rs 11 to Rs 17 for the first stage — the distance for which it was increased from 1 km to 1.5 km. And Rs 11.65 is being charged for every subsequent km, with an increase of Rs 1.65.
Vivek Velankar, president of Sajak Nagrik Manch, a city-based NGO, met the Regional Transport Officer yesterday and urged him not to reduce the waiting period, as it would affect commuters badly. He said, “If the auto rickshaw is waiting at the traffic signal, the driver should switch off the engine and save fuel instead of asking for reduction in the waiting time.”
Regional Transport Officer Jitendra Patil, said, “We have approached NGOs for their suggestions and based on the findings, we will bring up the issue in the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) meeting next month and a decision will be taken accordingly.”