As someone who spends much of her salary on three autorickshaws a day, I had high hopes of the revised auto fares. On Monday, I expected the driver of the autorickshaw I hailed in Tambaram to quote a reasonable amount for the two-km-long distance. According to the new rules, the fare should have been Rs. 37.

“70,” he said nonchalantly while I, surprised, yet already resigned, murmured, “..But the new fares..” “Petrol is hiked, there is too much traffic on this route, I have to take a U-turn also, madam. What I am asking for is reasonable only.”

It was back to square one as I called upon skills honed over years to bring the fare down by a grand sum of Rs. 10 to Rs. 60.

In the evening, hopeful of the news having spread, I caught an auto near Egmore railway station — from the same stand I have been using for the past one year — and asked the driver what he thought of the fares. “What madam, nobody has told us anything,” was the response; also, that I would have to pay the same amount and not a penny less.

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