Eid rush: Passengers left at mercy of transporters in Islamabad

Excesses of transporters belie official claims to check overcharging, other violations.


Shahzad Anwar July 16, 2015
Bus stations were chaotic due to the number of last-minute travellers. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Inter-city transporters on Thursday continued to make a mockery of the claims by the authorities to take action against over-charging and overloading on public transport vehicles.

Almost all transporters are charging the passengers at will, sometimes double the normal fare and are overloading their buses to dangerous extents. As the rush of the people leaving Rawalpindi and Islamabad to celebrate Eid at their hometowns continued on Thursday, there was virtually nobody at bus stands to check excesses of the transporters.

The police, however, have been somewhat successful in checking the trend of passengers travelling on roofs of the buses.

Regional Transport Authority (RTA) said it had deputed one team each at Faizabad, Peerwadhai and Soan Adda stations to check arbitrary fares. It claimed to have fined 21 transporters for overcharging. The authority said that the excess amount was returned to passenger on the spot.

RTA said its teams were present at bus stations till 11pm.

Thursday was the last working day for government employees as well as many private employees before Eid holidays.

Bus stations for different cities of Punjab were the most crowded.

RTA secretary said the rush would subside on Friday.

A random survey conducted by The Express Tribune showed that most transporters were charging at least Rs30 more than the normal fare.

Many passengers also claimed that transporters were also refusing to let in passengers of short distances. Ahmad Ali, a passenger, said that Lahore-bound buses plying on the GT Road were not taking in passengers for cities like Jhelum and Gujrat.

Another passenger Muhammad Ali said he had to pay Rs200 more than the normal fare for a ticket to Bukkur.

People said RTA had failed to check over-charging and other violations by the transporters.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015. 

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