LAHORE: The transport operators on Saturday raised fares by 20 per cent on all intercity and intra-city routes across the province.

The Pakistan Railways (PR) is likely to increase fares on all passenger and freight trains by 10 to 20 per cent with effect from June 1, Dawn has learnt.

“We have raised fares on all inter-city routes by 20 per cent keeping in view the 20 per cent increase in the prices of petroleum products by the government,” owner of a transport company told Dawn on Saturday.

“For raising fares, there is no need to get permission from the government,” he added.

According to an official source in the PR, the department first sent a summary to the ministry of railways, seeking approval on increase in the fares by 10, 15 or 20 per cent on all routes. But the ministry sent the summary back to the PR’s headquarters, advising it to take the decision on its own since PR’s CEO is empowered to take such decisions independently.

“So the announcement to increase the fares from June 1 is likely to be made by May 31,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Mass Transit Authority has almost reached a consensus to introduce a distance-based fare instead of a flat one (subsidised fare of Rs40) for those travelling in the Lahore orange line train.

“We had earlier worked out this keeping in view the increasing electricity cost during the last government’s tenure. But it didn’t give attention. But now the new government has asked us to finalise this proposal,” an official of the PMTA told Dawn. He said the increase in the petroleum products would definitely increase the bill of the company operating the metro bus operations in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi and other buses plying on feeder routes.

“At present, subsidised Rs30 fare is being charged in metro buses and Rs15 in the buses plying on feeder routes. So naturally, the government would either have to increase subsidy to pay the increased bill of the operators or pass the burden on the public in the form of increasing fares keeping in view the increased prices of petrol, diesel etc,” he explained.

“Discussions are under way in this regard these days,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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