Halik’s got a good post on the crappy economics of trishaws, or tuk-tuks, or three-wheelers, or ‘modaya!’ as you may know them. The crux is that travel by trishaw is really expensive. For me, having a car is actually cheaper because doing all the daily stuff by trishaw (school,
two one job, etc) ends up costing at least Rs. 1,500 and closer to 2,000. So that could be like 60,000 a month, cause weekends are even more hectic.
Once upon a time the bus was fine, but the one way system has made it difficult and confusing, for me at least. I try taking the bus sometimes but there the fare is too low and it instead consumes a lot of time. Anything but the Galle Road simply doesn’t make sense.
Anyways, Halik breaks down the trishaws saying that they are overpriced and that location and cartels (trishaw stands) also warp prices. This is true. Anytime you hail a tuk it is cheaper than getting it at a stand. The price they state is always negotiable, and often ludicrous. Meter tuks, of course, should solve this problem, but Halik is saying they’re overpriced at about Rs. 30 per km.
I dunno. I’ve hired meter tuks for basically the whole day and been pretty happy. It ends up being about Rs. 1,500 for a weekend day, which is actually a lot more intense than a weekday. A shot from Dehiwela to Rajagiriya ends up costing about Rs. 300, which I think is kinda reasonable.
Personally, I don’t think trishaws can go much lower than the meters, though I would be happy if they did. What would make me really happy is if they got more than one decent bus, posted bus routes and made public transport perhaps more expensive, but less a colossal waste of time. I miss the metro. In Montreal I never wanted a car and I thought the people that had them were fools. That’s the way it should be.
Anyways, Halik’s post is worth a read. Also, I’m supporting Milinda for Mayor and he has a decent plan for commuter buses within the city. That policy platform is now in all three languages on Facebook. The relevant section is 2.3. Right now the road development is focused on getting people in and out of the city, so it would be nice to have options to get around.