With the advent of the hike in petrol prices, denizens using public transport to make their way across the City are facing problems. Auto rickshaw drivers charging exorbitant amounts and APSRTC buses have witnessed a massive increase in passengers.
Commuting in the City has never been this expensive or inconvenient. People are paying huge amounts when it comes to travelling in an auto rickshaw. The drivers hardly ever charge the amount displayed on the meter, and the increase in the petrol prices have given them an excuse to charge even more. This is leading to an increase in haggling and arguing.
Manasi Uberoi, 25, a software developer, said that ever since the petrol prices have shot up, she has had to wait for a long time to catch an auto rickshaw. “Since the past two days, I have had to wait for at least 20 minutes. While many come and go, they ask for hefty amounts. It takes me only `40 to travel from my office in Jubilee Hills to my apartment in Banjara Hills. Few auto drivers asked me as much as `120 and cite the increasing petrol prices as a reason. Finally, I negotiated to `60,” she recalled.
But one cannot really blame these drivers for asking extra money. They too have been hit by the prices. This is only going to add fuel to fire to the never-ending fight between passengers and auto rickshaw drivers. “Passengers haggle with us to go by the metre, and we will ask for more. The rise in prices affects us as well,” claims Mohammed Ghaus, member, Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union.
However, what should be noted is that most of the auto rickshaws are run on gas and not on petrol. Yet, they have been ‘affected’ by the rise.
On the other hand, regular passengers of the APSRTC buses are complaining about the buses being over-crowded. Sadhna Thakur, a government school teacher who uses the public bus, pointed out that there has been a considerable increase in bus passengers since the petrol price was hiked. “I have never seen so many passengers in the route that I take. There is hardly any space. I guess people have come to realise that they will save a lot of money if they use buses instead of using their own vehicle. In the long run, this will save them money,” she said.
Car pooling is the new mantra. Everyone wants to save on fuel and decrease their expenses This is the best way. “Car pooling is not only environment friendly, but also the best way to keep a tab on increasing fuel costs,” said R Rachna, an IT professional working in Hitec City. She and many of her colleagues have opted for this.