Following the rise in prices of petroleum products, the private transporters in the provincial capital have increased fares from RS 100 to RS 300.
According to the information available to Profit, the private transporters increased the fare from Lahore to Karachi by RS 300 and presently the fare from Lahore to Karachi was increased from RS 3700 to RS 4000 while the fare of Sadiqabad was increased from RS 1750 to RS 2000.
Similarly the fare of Rawalpindi increased from RS1750 to RS1850, the fare of Faisalabad increased from RS850 to RS950, the fare of Sargodha increased from RS720 to RS850, the fare of Peshawar increased from RS2100 to RS2200 and the fare of Murree increased from RS2100 to RS2200.
Moreover, the Sahiwal’s fare was RS650 instead of RS550, Khanewal’s rent was 1280 instead of 1180 rupeesand the fare of Muzaffargarh has been increased from RS1330 to RS1430 and the fare of Multan has been increased from 1300 to 1400 rupees.
The people reacted strongly to the increase in transport fares and said that the said increase would have to be borne directly by the people.
Speaking to Profit, Yasin Khan said that he was a resident of Mansehra and used to work in Lahore.
According to Yassin, he has to visit his hometown twice a month, and where the rest of the inflation has taken place, this increase will add fuel to the fire.
On the other hand, the manager of a transporter at Niazi bus stand in Lahore informed Profit that even if the fares were not increased by the transporters, their profits would not be affected.
“In fact, one big bus can carry more than 60 passengers. Sometimes the rush of passengers is high and seventy passengers can sit in a bus and sometimes due to less rush thirty to forty passengers travel in one bus. If we look at the average number of passengers per month, fifty passengers travel in one bus daily. On the other hand, now consider the fare from Lahore to Faisalabad which is now RS 950. According to this calculation, the daily income from a bus is about RS 47,500. The biggest expense in this income is fuel. The journey from Lahore to Faisalabad is about 200 kilometers for which the bus requires about sixty liters of diesel. If the latest rates of diesel are taken into consideration, then this amount becomes around RS 11,000,” he said.
The manager further informed, “Similarly, a bus on the motorway has to pay a toll tax of around three thousand rupees for this journey. Three thousand rupees is spent on driver, bus hostess and other services. Thus, the total cost of the bus journey from Lahore to Faisalabad is about RS 17,000. Now, if income and expenses are taken into consideration, the transporter gets a profit of about RS 32,000 per trip. Transporters will not be harmed even if they reduce the fare by one hundred rupees. Obviously, the bus which has to go to Faisalabad has to return to Lahore with the passengers and transporters don’t have a single bus, but dozens of buses run on the same route,” he informed.
On the other hand, Waqar Gujjar, a transporter at General Bus Stand, Lahore, told Profit that this difficult decision had to be taken due to increase in petroleum products.
“Believe me, passengers are still not ready to spend more. If we do not raise fares, how can we provide services to the people like transport at a loss?” he said.
When Gujjar was asked if your profit margins were already good, then what does it mean to increase the fare? to which he replied that it was not so, “We also have to look after the repair of the bus. The maintenance of a bus which regularly travels to other cities costs about fifty thousand rupees per month. Then the bus stand rent has to be paid to the transporter. In addition, there are many other extortion mafias without whom our business cannot run. Large transporters own land, own auto workshops and cover many other expenses but for the second class transporters, even if a bus is full of passengers on the route, it is difficult for them to make ends meet,” he maintained.