Vaishali Bhambri, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 18, 2013
First Published: 18:51 IST(18/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:04 IST(19/1/2013)
Had a hard time while looking for an auto in the city or pleading an autowallah to take you to your particular destination? Well, the next option is radio cabs, but they prove to be quite an expensive alternative. Now, much to the ease of avid commuters, especially women, youtuktuk.com, an online
portal, has launched a ‘dial an auto’ service in the city. At present, it only operates in Noida and Indirapuram.
With this service, you can now get an auto rickshaw at your doorstep with just a phone call. All you need to do is to call the youtuktuk service at their helpline. “We started this service on January 1, and with just two weeks gone, the response has been overwhelming. We now get 80-100 calls per day that include both bookings and enquiries,” says Baati Mittal, founder, who was moved to launch the initiative after struggling to get an auto in the city.
When you call the number, a voice with an accent will welcome you to the portal, and then, it gets transferred to an executive. All you have to do is to give your pick up and drop address and know the estimated pick up time and fare. The booking is then confirmed with an SMS, which will mention the details of the driver and the auto. The auto driver would come at your door and your trip can begin.
“As of now, we have 20 autowallahs on board. Not all the autowallahs who approach us are inducted. A long process is followed and only the trusted ones are hired. They have their ID cards and all the security measures are in place,” says Mittal.
Once your journey is complete, you need to enter the unique booking code on the driver’s mobile. The added bonus is that you pay by the metre! Additionally, only a basic fare of R20 has to be paid. By the end of next month, the service is expected to take off in Delhi. “We are already at it, I am sure we will be able to achieve it in 2-3 weeks,” says Mittal. The service is only applicable from 8am to 7.30 pm.
“I have spent huge amounts on hiring a radio cab to avoid the hassle of haggling with an autowallah. This is a cheaper and easier way out,” says Ritika Chawla, 24, a financer.