Pune: As driving becomes more expensive, people choose bike taxis or shared transportation

Since September 1, prices of autorickshaws in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have been revised . Instead of the earlier Rs 21, they now charge Rs 25 for the first 1.5 kilometers .

PUNE: Rashmi Nagre* has been riding her bike taxis from Kondhwa to her office in Koregaon Park for the past two weeks.Nagre works as a receptionist and hairdresser in a salon.For a one-way ride to work, I paid about Rs 150.When returning home, I always take a bus, she said.

Since I'm trying to save money, I've started using the bike taxi, which costs me around Rs 100 on most days.I'm not allowed to go to work by train because I must arrive on schedule.Since September 1, the prices of autorickshaws in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have been revised.Instead of the earlier Rs 21, they now charge Rs 25 for the first 1.5 kilometers.

For every subsequent kilometre, the price has increased from Rs 14 to Rs 17.Despite being illegal in Maharashtra, many regular commuters have started to take bike taxis.Some people drive by carpool with their coworkers or rent an autorickshaw.Some commuters are also being targeted by auto drivers, which is adding to the fares.

Some auto operators also help their clients to get the correct fare by faking it.According to a commuter, I used to pay Rs 220 for a ride from Undri to FC Road earlier, but it now costs Rs 280.The fare rises to almost Rs 300 for services that have become common now.The commuter explained: Traveling in autorickshaws has become a hassle.

I have a car, but parking on FC Road is also a challenge.Ashish Charthankar, who goes to Kharadi from Koregaon Park every day for lunch, said he had reached an agreement with a colleague.We used to travel to the same office in separate autorickshaws.Both of us now ride in one autorickshaw and split the fare among us.

The majority of these devices have outdated meters.In the evenings, traffic jams occur on the Pune-Ahmednagar Highway, which in turn raises the rates.Pune RTO officials said they had opened five centres for meter calibrations and had published a rate chart.According to an RTO official, we are speaking with associations, asking them to make the auto drivers come for the calibrations.

*Name may be changed on request.