Tiruchirapalli

Autorickshaw and taxi drivers hit by skyrocketing of fuel prices

Autorickshaw drivers wait for customers in Tiruchi.

Autorickshaw drivers wait for customers in Tiruchi. | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

Despite the reduction in the cost of fuel, autorickshaw and taxi drivers are still burdened with financial difficulties, making it hard for them to make ends meet. There are indications that some drivers are giving up the profession and pursue other alternatives for livelihood.

Drivers say that the prices of the fuel are still prohibitive. The frequent increase in fuel prices is a severe setback for the drivers, making it impossible for them to continue operating without incurring losses.

“The rising cost of fuel burns a hole in our pockets. With the increase in the price of various commodities, we are struggling to make enough money to support our family,” said T. Ravi, a taxi driver.

According to the drivers, the minimum fare is insufficient to cover fuel and other expenses, forcing them to raise the fare, which has resulted in reduced patronage.

B Subramani, an autorickshaw driver, said, "On an average, we spend around ₹500 to a day on fuel, but barely make ₹400. So, we are forced to shell out extra money. Many of us are struggling to pay EMI (Equated Monthly Instalments) or spend for the maintenance of our vehicles."

M. Keshavan, an autorickshaw driver who transports schoolchildren, rued that to stay in business, he would have to raise the monthly charge per child. "If fuel prices continue to rise, I will have no choice but to effect a hike. I currently charge ₹1,000 per child for a to-and-fro school trip," he told The Hindu.

Some have opted to temporarily quit this profession until the situation improves, and as a result, the number of vehicles on the stands has decreased, they claim.

“Drivers have given up the work and sold their vehicles to repay debts. Fuel price hikes and unrevised fares are the main reasons for the hardships the drivers are facing," Vasanth, a taxi driver said.

"Many of us are driving under app-based services, and the aggregators are yet to revise the fare. So, we have to refrain from taking trips, as we have to spend from our pockets than we earn,” said R. Manikandan, an autorickshaw driver.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 6:59:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/autorickshaw-and-taxi-drivers-hit-by-skyrocketing-of-fuel-prices/article65463818.ece