Apparently, in Punjab, the will of the transport services is the only law. As reported by a mainstream media outlet, the provincial cabinet deregulated the inter-city air-conditioned public transport bus services in 2003 and no regulation has been passed ever since.
Before the deregulation, the provincial government was the authority when it came to determining the transport service fares for the AC buses. However, in 2003, the cabinet offered liberty to the transport service owners to charge fares based on facilities provided to the customers. Since then, the decision of regulating fares rests with the transport service owners alone.
The media report also highlighted that, in standard global practice, the governments issue subsidies to all transport services whereas in Punjab, the subsidy is only offered to government-sponsored projects such as metro bus service or orange line train service.
The report added that recently there has been a hike of 60 percent in the fare rates of the AC bus services, which were enacted by the service owners based on the implementation of the COVID-19 SOPs. While talking to the media, Lahore District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA), Secretary Ghiasuddin stated that to his knowledge there have been no such rate hikes.
The report also highlighted that, over the past few months, the authorities apprehended over 100 people and confiscated over 20 large buses on account of poor implementation of the COVID-19 SOPs. This implies that the reported rate hikes have all been for naught.
Via: The News