The safer travel option
August 30, 2008 11:19 AM
Radio-metered cab services are a huge hit with the public
Good response even without advertising Reasonable fare of Rs.15 per km is charged
HYDERABAD: A new form of public transport is overtaking the city. Sleek, cyan or white-coloured and with 'Radio Cab' written in black over their rooftops, the sedans are fast emerging as the new-found objects of desire of the Hyderabadis for commuting within the city.
"These days I prefer radio cabs over autorickshaws as they are comfortable, safe and reliable," says Supriya, an IT professional. "The hassle of having to argue with auto chauffeurs and coaxing them to switch on the digital meters is avoided this way," she says adding that the cab chauffeurs are well groomed and polite.
The cabs are proving to be a boon for single women travellers, late night party-goers and housewives for shopping or picking up their children during day-time. The radio-metered cab service launched in the city by two companies 'Meru' and 'Easycabs' are operating in the city for the past five months and are already a huge hit with the public.
Mark Pereira, CEO of Meru, that launched its operations in the city in March this year, says his company is planning to increase its fleet from the present 400 to 700 by year end. "Even without any advertising we have had a good response, I am afraid we may not be able to meet the demand if we go in for an advertising campaign," he opines. Word-of-mouth publicity has ensured that each cab makes around five to seven trips a day. Such is their demand!
The companies charge a reasonable fare of Rs.15 per kilometre adhering to the rates prescribed by the government. "Considering the luxury of a chauffer driven air-conditioned sedan, it is reasonably priced for the feel/experience we get," feels M. Srinivas, a banker.
The printed receipt system is finding favour with employees as they can reclaim their travel expenses on producing the receipts. "With an auto, that is impossible," avers Mr. Srinivas. Meru claims that its meters are tamper-proof and that every fare is transmitted digitally to the control centre for record keeping.
Equipped with GPS and GPRS and emergency security feature like 'panic button' they also ensure the safety of passengers.
So the next time you have to go shopping or reach home in that heavy downpour, you know who to call.