The government has increased the fares for intracity and long-haul buses by 26.5% and 27% respectively while the launch fare has been revised up by 35.29% following demands from the bus and launch owners in the wake of fuel price hike.
The decision to increase bus fare came at a meeting between Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and bus owners on Sunday while another meeting between Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and launch owners ended with the decision to increase launch fare.
Both the bus and launch owners called off the strike on Sunday evening after the government agreed to increase the transport fares.
The new fares, which are not applicable for CNG-run buses, are effective starting today (Monday) morning.
However, the truck owners and workers announced that the ongoing strike in protest against the fuel price hike will continue. They made the announcement at a press conference at the office of the association in Tejgaon on Sunday.
Public and goods transport owners went on strike from Friday morning while the launch owners followed suit on Saturday.
Leaders of the Bangladesh Covered Van-Truck-Prime Mover Goods Transport Owners Association placed three-point demand including the withdrawal of increased fuel price and increased toll on Jamuna and Muktarpur bridges.
The organisation's Additional Secretary General Abdul Motaleb said that the transport of goods across the country will remain closed indefinitely until the three-point demand is met.
He further said that they were forced to continue the strike as they have not had any formal talks with the government regarding this so far.
Minimum fare in city buses is Tk8
As per the revised fares, the minimum fares of buses and minibuses in metropolitan cities are set at Tk10 and Tk8 respectively, which used to be Tk7 and Tk5.
Besides, the city buses under the DTCA area (Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Manikganj, Dhaka district) will charge Tk2.15 instead of Tk1.70 per kilometre (26.5% rise) and minibuses Tk2.05/km instead of Tk1.60 (28.1% rise) from today. The Inter-district buses will charge Tk1.80 per km – an increase from Tk1.42 (26.8% rise).
To fix the fare, BRTA held a seven-hour-long meeting with the bus owners which started at 11:30am at BRTA head office in the capital.
Earlier, in the meeting, the owners demanded to increase the fare by 50% (Tk2.40 per km) for intracity mini-buses and 41.18% (Tk2.40) for intra-city buses while 40% (Tk2 per km) for long haul buses.
"We are increasing the fare very slightly considering the passengers", said BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder after the meeting.
About CNG-run buses, he said, we will take action against CNG-run buses who'll remain in the protest against the fuel price hike.
Later, Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association Secretary General Khandakar Enayetullah announced their decision to call off the strike.
Members of the government committee, representatives from the energy division, BPC, transport leaders and the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry attended the meeting.
Minimum launch fare fixed at Tk25
The minimum fare for launches has also been revised up to Tk25, an increase from the existing Tk18.
Besides, the fare for up to 100km has been raised to Tk2.30 from Tk1.70 and Tk2 from Tk1.40 for further distance per kilometre.
However, the launch owners initially demanded to raise the fare by 100% or double of the existing fare.
But on Sunday afternoon during a four-hour meeting, held at the BIWTA head office in the capital, between Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and launch owners settled for a 35% fare increase.
The launch owners also have withdrawn the strike following the meeting,
The government hiked diesel and kerosene prices by Tk15 to Tk80 per litre on Wednesday, citing a volatile global market for crude oil. In response, transport owners and workers called an indefinite nationwide strike, leading to unspeakable sufferings for commuters for the past three days.