LAHORE – Powerful transporters have not reduced fare on inter-city and intra-city routes despite clear direction of the government following recent decrease in fuel price.

The Punjab Transport Department and Lahore Transport Company on Tuesday announced cut in fare but the ground situation is totally different and commuters are being charged the old fare.

The transport companies like Albayrak and Daewoo Wednesday continued charging old persisting fare from millions of commuters at city routes despite the LTC notification of reduction in charges.

The Lahore Transport Company yesterday announced reduction in fare at intra-city routes following decrease in fuel prices.

According to the Tuesday’s notification of LTC, the minimum fare at first stage (0 to 4 km) of non-AC diesel buses/ mini buses would be Rs9 and up to sixth stage (30.1 and above km) Rs28 will be charged from passengers. Whereas at intra city wagons/ mini buses plying on petrol the minimum fare at first stage (0 to 4 km) would be Rs11 and up to sixth stage (30.1 km and above) Rs26 will be charged from commuters. The intra city overall reduction in public transport fares is six percent on non–AC diesel run buses while 11 to 12 percent reduction is made on petrol run wagons/mini buses.

However, the powerful foreign companies charged old persisting fare from commuters.

A passenger told The Nation that he traveled from Muslim Town to Gangaram Hospital and charged Rs25 from the Albayrak Bus staff. Daewoo is charging Rs20 from commuters at same destination. The maximum fare from Model Town to Railways Station is unchanged at is Rs35 at Albayrak and Rs30 at Daewoo Bus from Kalma Chowk to Railways Station. Similarly, the minimum and maximum fare at mini vans is Rs15 and Rs35 respectively.

On the other side the fare is unchanged at inter city routes. The old fare Rs220 from Niazi Bus Service and Rehbar Bus Service is being charged from passengers between Lahore and Faisalabad while the Nadir Transport Company, Daewoo , Bilal Daewoo are charging more than Rs400 from passengers between the same destination. There is no reduction in fare at other routes from Lahore to South, Centre and North Punjab destinations. .

“I travel between Lahore and Khanewal and get bus from Thoker Niaz Beg bypass. Sometimes I pay Rs 600 and sometimes I pay mere Rs 500 or even Rs 450. It depends on the situation (rush of passengers) and my negotiation with the bus staff. Fuel price does not matter for transporters especially when it comes down. But yes they (Transporters) introduce immediate increase in fare when the fuel price goes up,” said Shufqat Teja, a restaurant worker. He said that a passenger who takes a bus (AC/non-AC) from Thokar Niaz Beg bypass for Okara or Sahiwal or Mian Channu or Khanewal to downward destinations pays Rs 200, Rs 250, Rs 400 and Rs 500 and this fare persists for more than three years despite more than 40 per cent reduction in fuel price during this period.