Govt preparing to hike taxi fare

Kathmandu, January 1

Taxi passengers will soon have to fork out more money for their rides as the government has planned to hike taxi fares. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has said they have started the homework to adjust taxi fares and minimum fare hike will most likely be two rupees per kilometre.

Earlier on September 23, the government had increased the tariff of public transport fare including taxi fare by 10 per cent.

“We have started to draft the new fare rate for public transport and will soon submit the draft report to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport,” said Gokarna Upadhyaya, spokesperson for DoTM, adding that the proposed fare increment will be based on components including consumer price index, fuel prices, growing maintenance expenses and staff salary.

Meanwhile, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) has said that till date it has adjusted the taximeters of 2,500 taxis based on the government’s decision of September 23.

According to Bishwo Babu Pudasaini, director general of NBSM, there are 10,465 taxis in Kathmandu Valley and nearly 18,000 active taxis across the nation. The NBSM has plans to finish adjusting the taximeters of all taxis in the Valley by April. At present, NBSM has been adjusting the taximeters and testing the billing machines installed in taxis of 80 to 100 taxis per day.

The billing machines provide a bill that includes the date, time, distance travelled and fare amount.

On September 23, the government had increased taxi fare by three rupees per kilometre to Rs 53 per kilometre.

“Government has not been adjusting fares as per fuel price,” said Arjun Gautam, president of Nepal Metre Taxi Entrepreneurs’ Association.