Monday, 18 November 2019

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Bus operators warned not to overcharge passengers

Rangoon (Mizzima) - Highway bus operators will be suspended or lose their license if they do not stop overcharging passengers during the water-festival, Rangoon’s transport regulator warned late last month.  

The Rangoon divisional transport security and streamlining committee issued the notice amid reports that operators were charging passengers extra in the run up to the water festival.

The suspension or cancelling of the license will depend on the extent of offences, a letter from the committee said.  

A passenger complained he had to pay 15,000 Kyats (US$15) for a ticket to Taunggyi when the actual fare on this route is 11,000 Kyats.

An Aung Mingalar highway terminal administrative officer said the directive was issued to all operators at the end of March and passengers could lodge complaints if overcharged. Strangely no steps have been taken to publicly announce regular bus fares.  The directive, however, has displeased bus operators.

Tickets for some routes are Rangoon-Mandalay, 11,000 Kyats; Rangoon-Lashio, 15,000 Kyats; while journeys to Arakan State vary between 7,000 and 15,000 Kyats.

“They should not control bus fares. When they have issued the directives we have to reduce the frequency of trips and this will inconvenience passengers,” an operator’s ticket-office manager said.  

Some operators said they were not overcharging passengers but had to pay commissions to agents who brought them passengers and that some of their ticket clerks had misappropriated money from sales. 

For routes in Arakan State the prescribed fares failed to cover operating costs. This was because roads were in a terrible state, operators said.  

There are more than 150 highway bus operators providing services to between 5,000 and 7,000 passengers daily at the Aung Mingalar terminal in Rangoon.


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