Airport taxis adding toll to bill without taking toll road: passengers

There are also complaints that some drivers confirm booking only if payment is by cash

Airport taxi drivers are fleecing air passengers by charging the toll without taking the toll road, passengers have alleged. While coming from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), without informing the passengers, the drivers use the toll-free alternative road to reach the National Highway (Ballari Road). However, while collecting the fare, passengers are forced to pay ₹95 as the toll, they alleged.

Priyanka A. ,who recently travelled with her familyfrom KIA to Allalsandra in a KSTDC Airport taxi, said after leaving the terminal, near a circle, the driver took a left turn and moved towards the alternative road. “When I asked him why he is not taking the toll road, he said there is no traffic on this road. The alternative road is very narrow and traffic was quite high. It took more than 25 minutes to reach the highway. By the time I reached my home, it was more than 40 minutes,” she said.

She added, “The driver collected a fare of ₹850. When I collected the fare slip, to my shock, the fare collected included the toll of ₹95. When I asked about the toll, the driver did not give a proper answer and left. This is nothing but cheating the passengers.”

Air passengers travelling from the airport to the city face these problems with other taxis as well. “Booking a taxi on a mobile app is always a problem at the airport. One has to wait a long time to get a taxi. I have faced this issue multiple times. Some drivers agree to come only for cash payments. In addition to this, some drivers refuse to use the toll road but add the toll to the taxi fare,” said Navaneeth.

‘Reduce the fee’

Responding to the allegations, Basavaraj of KSTDC Airport Taxi Union, said, “May be a few airport taxi drivers charge the toll without taking the toll road, but others are taking the blame.Because of taxi aggregators, we are facing a lot of problems. They are not following the government rules on fares and indulging in price wars. For example, when there is increased footfall, they charge up to ₹1,200 from the airport to Hebbal and when there are fewer passengers, it is reduced to ₹700 to ₹800. Because of this, we are not getting enough bookings and our drivers are struggling a lot,” he said.

“We demand the State Government to end the price war and also demand the NHAI to lower the toll which is almost ₹100. It should be reduced to half. We have been paying a toll for more than a decade now. For how long the collection of toll should continue,” he asked.

Asked about the complaints, Hemantha Kumara, additional commissioner and secretary of the Karnataka State Transport Authority, said, “We have not received complaints from the public on excess collection of fee. Aggrieved passengers can reach out toRTOs to file complaints against the drivers who demand excess fare and necessary action will be taken.”

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