In the face of massive student demonstrations, bus owners on Tuesday finally agreed to half-fare for students within the capital city.
The new fare comes into effect from Wednesday.
"The facility, however, will apply only in Dhaka with some conditions," said Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Dhaka Road Transport Owners' Association (DRTOA), making the announcement in a Tuesday briefing in Dhaka.
"Students will have to show photo ID cards from their respective educational institutions to avail the privilege from 7am to 8pm only," said the transport leader. He added that the half-fare would not be available on weekends, public holidays, and other educational institution holidays.
Students, however, have rejected the conditional half-fare and vowed to continue their agitation until their demand is met unconditionally and all over the country. They have been on demonstrations since 18 November, demanding halved bus fares.
Enayet Ullah said they (i.e. DRTOA) did not remain inactive during the protests. "We held meetings frequently with transport owners, workers, and regulators to discuss the matter."
"On 29 November, we held a meeting with the chairmans, managing directors, and workers of 120 transport companies operating in Dhaka and finally agreed on the half-fare facility."
In the briefing, Enayet Ullah called on the government to provide incentives for the "poor transport owners" in Dhaka.
"Believe it or not, 80% of transport owners in Dhaka are poor. Many have only one bus, as a means of livelihood, so I hope the government will take that into consideration," he said.
The transportation sector leader said the number of buses was still low compared to passenger demand.
Enayet Ullah also expressed his condolences for the death of a student in a Rampura accident and urged the government to ensure punishment for the offenders.