Mumbai: Mumbaikars will have to shell out more from Oct 1 to travel in black-and-yellow ('kaali-peeli') taxis and auto-rickshaws. The state Transport Department has agreed to raise the minimum fares of taxis by Rs3 and auto-rickshaws by Rs2 from that date.
The existing minimum fare for taxicabs is Rs 25 while it is Rs 21 for auto-rickshaws. The new minimum fares will be Rs 28 and Rs 23, respectively.
Anthony Quadros, leader of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union (MTU), said, "The state government agreed for a revision in the fare of taxies and auto-rickshaws on Friday after approval from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA)."
Mumbai Autorickshaw Men's Union leader Thampy Kurian, who also attended the meeting, said, "Transport Department officials said the decision will be approved by the MMRTA on Monday and implemented from Oct 1."
No Transport Department official was ready to confirm the development. But sources said the state Industry Minister had agreed to revise the fares at a meeting with the unions.
Earlier on Wednesday, the MTU had called for an indefinite strike from Sep 26. The union has now withdrawn the strike.
Taxi and auto-rickshaw operators welcomed the decision. They said while it was not enough, it was helpful. "The price of CNG has gone up by more than Rs30 over the past year, hence we were hoping for a minimum increase of Rs5, but it's okay," said Ramesh Singh (49) who has been driving a taxi for the past 20 years.
Auto-rickshaw driver Devendra Yadav from Santa Cruz said, "It's good to hear that the minimum fare has finally been revised.”
The fares were last increased in Mar 2021 when the minimum fare for cabs was raised to Rs25 from Rs22 and auto-rickshaws to Rs21 from Rs18. The Mumbai metropolitan region has around 60,000 taxis and 5,00,000 auto-rickshaws, including some petrol-run vehicles.