The government has increased fares of inter-district and long routes (Dhaka, Chittagong cities and adjoining areas) bus and minibuses by 60 per cent, in order to compensate bus owners carrying 50 per cent less passengers to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Passengers will have to pay the additional bus fares from June 1 (Monday), said a gazette notification issued by the Road, Transport and Bridges Ministry on Sunday.
The notification said the additional fares for inter-district and long routes buses and minibuses will be increase by 60 from existing Tk 1.42 for a kilometre.
The extra 60 per cent fare will be added to the existing bus, minibus fares of Tk 7 and Tk 5 in Dhaka and Chattogram metropolitan cities respectively, the notification said.
The notification also said that bus and minibus plying in Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Manikganj and Dhaka district under Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), will be allowed to charge extra fare with the existing fare of Tk 1.60 per kilometre.
Each passenger must take a seat and keep the adjacent seat empty and no bus and minibus will be allowed to carry over 50 per cent passengers.
This extra bus fare will be applicable only during the COVID-19 pandemic only, said the notification adding that after this pandemic, the bus fares will be readjusted as per the previous rates.
Earlier in the day, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the government will issue a gazette notification on "an adjusted and logical" bus fare.
He hinted about reducing the proposed bus fare by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
BRTA on Saturday recommended raising bus fare by 80 per cent in order to compensate bus owners carrying 50 per cent less passengers to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Passengers, drivers, helpers, and ticket sellers must wear face masks while hand sanitiser, soaps and handwashing facilities must be available at terminals.
The government on Thursday issued a gazette notification allowing limited operation of public transport and offices from May 31 to June 15 amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Public transports – buses, trains and vessels – resumed and offices reopened on Sunday.