The Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association has demanded: the price of fuel oil be reduced, the price of bus and launch fares remain as they are, and extortion be stopped.
In a statement sent to the media on May 29, the organisation's secretary-general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury demanded this – considering that people are in a financial crisis after losing their jobs due to the long shutdown and will be in more danger if increased rent is imposed on them.
He requested that the price of fuel be reduced before the launch of public transportation services so that public transportation can continue to offer its services at the existing rates – even with half the number of passengers.
The statement claimed that oil prices fell on the world market long ago. The Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has made a lot of profit from buying fuel oil at low prices and selling it at high prices, for a long time, in the country. At present, the news of fuel oil reserves in the country's reservoirs has already been reported to the media.
On the other hand, every bus and minibus operating in the capital has to pay an average of Tk1,200 to Tk1,800 in extortion money daily. Extortion of up to Tk2,000 is paid in some places. Each Laguna has to be run daily with an average of Tk800 to Tk1,000 of extortion money. He remarked that if the government ensures an affordable fuel supply in addition to preventing the daily average extortion of each public transport, it will be possible to carry half the passengers in each public transportation facility in compliance with the health rules.
In addition, if the price of fuel is reduced, it will be possible to travel with half the average number of passengers in a profitable way.
In the case of fixing the fare of city service buses and minibuses, the fare has been set for buses with 20 percent of their seats vacant. Even then, 10 to 15 extra seats have been added to each bus and minibus. He claimed that if these issues were taken into consideration in this time of crisis, it would be possible to travel with half the number of passengers, profitably, according to the health rules without increasing fares on any road or water transportation service.