Press Releases : Mumbai's fleet taxis all set to touch 200 soon

Mumbai's fleet taxis all set to touch 200 soon
June 18, 2007 5:49 PM

Swapnil Rawal

State transport chief hopeful that number will increase

HOW IT WORKS
  • With no new permits being issued, existing taxi chauffeurs with vali8d license and permits can switch over to the fleet taxi scheme.
  • He gets a brand new vehicle in lieu of his old car. The ownership of the cab will be transferred to him after five years.
  • In March, the state government issued 200 new permits to push the scheme.
  • So far, there are 2 operators: Mumbai
    Gold Cabs, Meru Cabs.

FOR THE MUMBAIITE
NEW CABS MEAN: Taxis on call; a comfortable
Ride in either a GPS-enabled Esteem, Indigo Marina; electronics meter. Future facilities: Credit Card Swiping Machines.  

Nearly nine months after the state government launched a much-needed world calss taxi service in the city, the fleet is now all set to touch 200.

Conforming this, State Transport Commissioner Shaymsunder Shinde said,
"Across the three RTOs (regional transport officers) in the city, over 190 fleet taxis have been registered so far. We expect to reach 200 over the week."

Considered to be one of the many "quick wins" identified by the sate government in its Mumbai makeover plans, the numbers aren't spectacular. Nevertheless, given the initial opposition from existing taxi
chauffeurs, it's good from
beginning.

Given that reality Shinde feels the number is a "good" one. He's confident with the lukewarm response from permit holders will eventually change. "Anything new takes time to become popular but we are hopeful the numbers will increase considerably", he said.

Those who have opted for the scheme are happy. For instance, Ghulam Hussain Malik (52) - he is now a "chauffer" as opposed to a "taxi chauffeur" --- with the newly-launched Meru cabs, it was the chance to work in an organized sector with retirement benefits that convinced to junk his old taxi.

Malik has been working with Meru cabs since its launch in April. " I had driven Black and Yellow taxi for over 25 years and I found that there was no fixed income or security. Therefore, after careful study of both fleet taxi operators (Mumbai Gold Cabs and Meru Cabs) I decide to join one of them. Now, at least we get a fixed pay, PF and various other performance-based incentives," he adds.

Mohan Lad joined Meru recently. "More than anything else there is a sense of self-esteem in this job which I did not have earlier. As a black and yellow cab chauffeur, I never had the security that I was offered here".

But for the fleet taxi scheme to succeed, it must have the support of the taxi unions. "Big taxi companies should join the taxi unions if they want to successfully run the service," said Ismail Khan, a chauffeur still reluctant to make the change.