Transportation fare to increase says RSTA

With the green tax on fuel coming into effect last Thursday, the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) said that the transportation fare is likely to increase.

The Director General of RSTA, Lham Dorji, talking about a hike in bus and taxi fares, said, “We haave already done a bus fare revision last year but we will be looking at it again this year. For taxis (fare), the revision is under process and we are doing it.”

He added that due to the green tax, the fuel price has increased and so has the price for spare parts. RSTA said they are analyzing various data and information to work out the transportation fare price.

While the percentage of increase in fare is not known as yet, however, the effect of the tax will be borne, directly or indirectly, by the commuters, mainly the office goers, students and individuals who travel on taxis and buses.One of the taxi drivers in Thimphu, Rinchen Tshering, 44, said the increase in the price of fuel is not something new as the fuel prices keep increasing, but there has not been a raise in the fare prices. He added that this has affected their revenue earnings.

He said taxi drivers hardly make a profit, and therefore, there is a need to revise the transportation fare in keeping with the green tax on fuel due to which the price of fuel has increased further.

“If Nu1, 000 is made during a day’s work, half of the money, more than Nu500 is spent on fuel. The profit is not much at hand,” Rinchen Tshering said.

He hopes the fare will increase by Nu 3 to Nu 5, in addition to the normal fare charged. Taxi drivers also hope for similar fare increase in city buses as they do not want their business to be affected by low bus fares.

On the other hand, Kinley Dema, a private employee, said the private employees are most affected by the escalating costs. “I don’t know how much more we have to pay as a tax when we are already paying much more than we earn.”

With 5% green tax in fuel, the new price of petrol and diesel has increased by Nu 2 each. In Thimphu, the price of petrol is Nu73.17 per litre and Nu60.47on per litre for diesel.

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