Mumbai city news: An official from the chief minister’s office said the move is for upgrading the service offered by conventional taxis and autos
Auto and taxu unions are complaining that they are losing business to app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber. (HT file )
To take on app-based cabs aggregators such as Ola and Uber, the conventional black-and-yellow taxis and auto-rickshaws will soon have their own app. The idea was floated by the state government during a meeting with the auto and taxi union representatives on Tuesday.
The government believes that the app would improve the quality of the service offered by the regular taxis and autos, as it will curb cases of refusal to ply and hold errant drivers accountable. Maharashtra has about 1.5 lakh taxis and 7.5 lakh auto-rickshaws. Of these, 50,000 taxis and 1.25 lakh ply across Mumbai.
An official from the chief minister’s office said the move is for upgrading the service offered by conventional taxis and autos. “Apart from easing out booking hassles, we intend to train the drivers in exhibiting customer-friendly approach,” the official added.
AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximens Union, said they have welcomed the government’s move and will support it.
Mumbai Taximens Union and Mumbai Taxi Association, with highest registration of taxis and autos in the city, have already signed an agreement with a private IT firm last month to launch an app. The product is expected to launch in June.
Quadros said the union is going ahead with the private app, as the government would take a long time to develop its own app.
The union leaders also raised some concerns about the app in the meeting.
Shashank Rao, leader of Mumbai Autorickshawens Taximens Union, said, the efforts will not bear fruits until the government brings a level playing field by implementing the new City Taxi Rules 2017. “How will the app succeed, if some companies give incentives and bonus to their drivers,” he said.