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Ola-hit auto drivers agree to run on meter

Image result for trichy auto meter
There is something on the horizon to cheer for commuters regularly made to haggle over exorbitant charging by autorickshaws. Drivers owing allegiance to CITU, who add up to a sizeable number, have finally decided to run autorickshaws on digital meter. However, they have demanded a minimum charge of Rs 30 for 1.5 kms and Rs 15 for every additional km, instead of the government-prescribed minimum charge of Rs 25 and Rs 12 per additional km.
The invasion of Ola into the market has prompted the auto drivers to agree on meters. Ola taxi App has made a large number of autorickshaw drivers switch to their tariff of providing a 4-kilometre ride for Rs 29. CITU auto-drivers association of Trichy said it will install digital meters on autorickshaws.

"It is high time to switch to meter system so that we can survive in the market due to the invasion of Ola a year ago. Since then most of our auto-drivers have plumped for their system which gave them good earnings thanks to the frequent rides they get due to the low fare. Hence, we also decided to adopt digital meter system," said district president of the association A L Fakruddin Babu on Tuesday after staging a demonstration near the district collector office.
They have been opposing the government-prescribed minimum fare for 1.8 km - Rs 25, additional every kilometre - Rs 12, waiting charge - Rs 3.50 for every five minutes, night charges (between 11pm to 5 am) - 50 % additional charge. Their demanded is to increase the fare to Rs 30 for the first 1.5 km and Rs 15 for every additional km.
The drivers submitted a petition to the district collector urging him to take up revision of fare with the state government. It may be recalled that when the tariff was prescribed in 2015, it had not gone down well with the autorickshaw drivers. The police had even asked the drivers to display the tariff card, the names of the owner, driver, address and photographs in mother tongue and English and the grievance toll free number - 1800-425-5430 — on the vehicle. They even warned of cancellation of driving licence in case of violation of tariff. However, they did not accept the tariff.
Now, the situation has changed and the CITU is even ready to go with the government-prescribed fee if all the members accept the decision at their July 30 meeting. "We will discuss the matter in the meeting on July 30. If everyone is ready, we will start the meter system from August 15 in the city. Around 2,200 autos in our association will run on the digital meter system. But we will demand an increase in tariff," said Fakruddin Babu.


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