Concerned stakeholders are set to convene this afternoon at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) office in the capital's Banani to discuss the demand for bus fare hikes.
Following the government's move to hike fuel prices by over 50%, public transport services across the country reported a chaotic situation on Saturday morning.
Reporters of The Business Standard, from across the country, found that fares have jumped drastically on some routes while bus owners and workers of several destinations have partially or completely suspended operations and are making arrangements to charge travellers extra.
When contacted for comments regarding the current situation, Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity Joint Secretary Samdani Khondaker, "Some bus owners have decided not to operate their vehicles as costs have gone up due to the fuel price hike. This is the reason why the number of buses in the city is low today.
"However, a meeting between Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) authorities and transport owners will take place today at noon. Hopefully, everything will become normal after that."
Khandaker Enayet Ullah, General Secretary of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, told The Business Standard that they will not offer any fixed rate.
"The government has increased fuel oil prices by 42.5% to 51.6%. We will have no objection if the committee fixes the rates accordingly," he remarked.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity has demanded to withdraw the decision to increase the price of fuel oil at a time when the common people of the country are already in a crisis due to the increase in the price of everyday goods.
The government increased the price of diesel and kerosene by Tk15 last November and fixed it at Tk80 per litre. After the hike in diesel prices, bus fare was hiked by around 27%, launch fares were hiked by 35%, which is much higher than the increase in oil prices, the organisation said in a statement.
They have also called for a protest meeting and human chain in front of the National Press Club of the capital on Saturday 3pm to demand the withdrawal of abnormal price hike of fuel oil.