Auto-Rickshaw Fare Regulation in Chennai
Mobility and accessibility for urban India
The project was to study the impact caused by Auto-rickshaw fare reform in Chennai from both driver and passenger’s perspective. The study was to assess the impact of fare reform and identify the pitfalls and how it could be rectified. Chennai’s auto-rickshaw drivers are considered notorious to overcharge and not abide by the meter as there were no fare revision done since 2007. The study was to assess the following if passengers have shifted their mode of travel from private vehicle to auto- rickshaws, if this would impact their decision to buy personal vehicle and the types of trips that has shifted. From the auto driver’s perspective the study was to check if there were an increase in number of trips and earnings made by the driver as a direct result of the fare reform and the kinds of problem they encounter.
Based on the survey 80% of the respondents have shifted some trips from some other modes to auto-rickshaw, 73% people said they would not consider buying a vehicle if the auto-rickshaw drivers conducts themselves well and abide by the meter. The driver’s survey suggested that although the average number of trips is almost same there is a 24% drop in the average earning of the drivers. The drivers also reported that the government regulated fares are insufficient and do not account for the loss of revenue during peak congestion periods and the fare reforms have led to increase in operating costs, due to increase in dead trips. The drivers also feel the pinch from the competition with share autos.
A primary survey involving both passengers and drivers was conducted. Stakeholders including entrepreneurs and unions working in auto-rickshaw segment, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), researchers, campaigners, government officials were interviewed about their assessment of the impact and their roles in the fare reform.