Even on the second day of Eid the bus terminals of the capital were crowded with homebound people. However, it has been alleged that the buses leaving from the capital are charging customers extremely high fares, even double at times. In particular, double fare is being charged on AC buses.
The passengers made complaints about additional fares while talking to our correspondent who visited various bus terminals in the capital on the second day of Eid-ul-Fitr (Wednesday).
The government has not fixed the fare for Eid this time, which means that the usual fare fixed by the government should be effective even on Eid. But that was not the case.
As the government has not fixed any fares for AC buses earlier, the transporters are charging arbitrary fares for these buses.
Transport workers said that during Eid, the buses have to return from outside the capital with almost zero passengers. This extra rent is being taken to make up for that loss.
Transport experts say there is no legal or ethical basis for charging extra fares. They demanded immediate action from the government.
Ali Ashraf Sabuj, a passenger of Shah Fateh Ali Paribahan bound for Bogra from Mohakhali inter-district Bus Terminal at 11:30 am on Wednesday, told The Business Standard that the fare of AC bus from Dhaka to Bogra is Tk600. Now, Tk1200 is being charged.
The situation is the same in Gabtoli and Saidabad bus terminals.
Non-AC transports departing from the three inter-district bus terminals in the capital have seen a surge of around 40% up to 50%.
Sulman Mia, a passenger of non-AC transport from Gabtoli to Rangpur, said, "I used to go to Rangpur on Eid-ul-Fitr for Tk700/800. Today (Wednesday) I had to pay Tk1,100."
Ramesh Chandra Ghosh, chairman of the Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners Association, said many passengers were talking about extra fares. But the fact is, bus owners offer various discounts throughout the year but do not do so during Eid.
Ramesh, also the owner of Shyamli Paribahan claimed that usually if anyone got off the bus before the destination, they would pay accordingly but during Eid even if they get off early they have to pay the full fare.
For example, he said, if one goes to Cox's Bazar by a bus destined for Teknaf, one has to pay the fare of Teknaf. The matter is being explained to the passengers. They have to consider the owners' side too, he added.
Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association Secretary-General Md Mozammel Haque Chowdhury told TBS that the argument being used by the bus owners and authorities for charging extra fare is completely illegal.
The concerned authorities of the government are silent on this matter. Taking advantage of their indifference, transport owners have become reckless in charging extra fares.
He said a recent study by the Passenger Welfare Association found out that, the transport owners would collect around Tk8,000 crore in additional fares on the occasion of Eid this year.