In a move that could impact commuters, the Mumbai Rickshawmen's Union has formally petitioned the government for a fare hike of Rs 2 in the base fare of autorickshaws operating in the suburbs. The current base fare stands at Rs 23, and the union is advocating for an increase to Rs 25.
"Request grounded in escalating consumer price index"
In a letter to the state transport secretary and other officials of the state transport department on 30th November, union leader Thampy Kurien stated that the request is grounded in the escalating consumer price index, a significant factor in determining fare adjustments according to the government's formula. Kurien justified the proposed hike, citing the interests of approximately five lakh auto drivers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Several factors, including the capital cost of vehicles, maintenance and repair expenses, insurance, and taxes, have surged recently, contributing to the calculation for the new fare hike, according to Kurien. He has submitted these calculations to transport officials on November 30th.
"No decision has been made yet"
A senior transport official clarified that no decision has been made yet, emphasizing that any fare hike proposal undergoes evaluation by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), which has the final say. In October 2022, the MMRTA approved a fare increase of Rs 2 for autos and Rs 3 for taxis, raising minimum fares from Rs 21 to Rs 23 for autorickshaws and from Rs 25 to Rs 28 for Kaali Peeli taxis in Mumbai.