Myanmar: Rising fuel prices make life difficult for taxi drivers

In Yangon, the price of petrol has skyrocketed, making it difficult for taxi drivers to work. “I can’t drive my cab because the price of fuel is so high. It is not cost-effective for taxi drivers to drive their cabs. As a result, the car is currently parked. There are only compressed natural gas (CNG) powered cars on the road”, said a taxi driver.

With the recession after the military coup, the Myanmar currency (the kyat) depreciated and the price of petrol skyrocketed. A taxi driver from Thamine township said, “My car is about to stop. Every day, I have to pay the cost of petrol from my own pocket. I can only make enough money from driving the taxi to pay for the petrol and car rental fee”, he said.

Fuel prices had risen to the following prices by 9 March: 2,100 kyats per litre for 92 octane, 2165 kyats per litre for 95 octane, around 2,275 kyats per litre for diesel and around 2,285 kyats per litre for premium diesel on 9 March.

“If I refuel with CNG I only have enough to go once from downtown to South Okkalapa Township. Because there are power cuts they can’t fully fill our fuel tanks at the gas stations. They need to use electricity to fully fill the tanks but now, because they only have generators [rather than mains electricity], the [CNG] stations can’t fully fill fuel tanks. Taxi-cabs cannot fully be refueled. Now cars have to be refueled four times a day,” said a taxi driver with a CNG vehicle.

Due to the skyrocketing prices of petrol almost no one can afford to buy it and there is less traffic in Yangon.

“Mostly it is taxi drivers and family-owned cars who have been worst affected. In the past, where there were 20 cars on the road, now there are only about 10. In addition, CNG-fueled cars can only be refueled at gas stations. It isn’t cost-effective for taxi drivers anymore. A taxi fare that used to be 2,000 kyats is now about 4,000 kyats. Petrol stations are open, but few people are buying”, said a resident of Bahan Township.

The price of domestic fuel has also risen from around 200 kyats to 500 kyats a litre.

Source: https://www.mizzima.com/article/rising-fuel-prices-make-life-difficult-taxi-drivers