Although the new transport fare comes into effect today after the recent petroleum price hike, many intercity bus operators have been charging passengers higher fares for more than a week.
The government has hiked the fare by 10 paisa to Tk 1.45 a kilometre, but the operators are not following it. In many cases, they are charging double the amount of the hiked fare.
A staff at the capital's Kalyanpur counter of Hanif Paribahan said, "Before the fuel price hike, the one-way fare on Dhaka-Bogra route was Tk 350. On January 9, we have increased the fare to Tk 380."
Asked why they had raised the fare before the government's decision came into force, he said, "We are just following the directives of our top management. It is not only us, but all the other bus operators have hiked the fares."
Sohag Hossain, a private university student, on Friday bought a ticket of VIP Deluxe Paribahan for Jhenidah for Tk 400, which was earlier sold at Tk 350.
The other bus operators on Dhaka-Magura, Meherpur and Chuadanga routes have been charging the same fare, he added.
The distance from Dhaka to Jhenidah is around 230km. As per the government decision, the fare on this route should to be hiked by Tk 23.
Buses of SR Paribahan ply the Dhaka-Rangpur route. A staff at its Kalyanpur counter in the city said they are now charging each passenger Tk 550, which was Tk 500 a week ago.
Rangpur is around 310 kilometres off Dhaka and the fare should be increased by Tk 31.
Talking to The Daily Star last night, Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Samity secretary general Khandaker Enyet Ullah said, "I have heard the allegations that some transport owners have hiked bus fares immediately after the announcement of fuel price hike. This might have occurred due to a long gap [18 days] between the fuel price hike and bus fare hike."
On January 3, the government raised prices of diesel and kerosene by Tk 7 a litre, and octane and petrol by Tk 5 a litre in efforts to cut subsidy cost.
Diesel and kerosene now sell at Tk 68 a litre, and octane and petrol at Tk 99 and Tk 96 a litre respectively.