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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Commuters want new auto, taxi share services

Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 19, 2012
First Published: 01:11 IST(19/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:15 IST(19/10/2012)

Commuters want the transport authorities to start the 31 approved share-an-auto/taxi services in the city.

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Currently, the fare for share-a-taxi/auto services ranges from Rs. 6-15. The additional 33% fare that the drivers charge from passengers acts as an added incentive.

On September 20, the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) approved 15 share-an-auto and 16 share-a-taxi routes in the eastern and western suburbs, but they are yet to be started.

"Share-an-auto is a good option, but the government needs to start new routes," said Shirish Deshpande, chairperson, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

"We argued with the Hakim committee for more routes. Its implementation should be proper and effective. The government is giving into pressure without thinking about commuters," he added.

Some of the approved share-an-auto routes in the eastern suburbs include Kurla (West) to Ghatkopar (West); LBS Vidyavihar railway station to Durga Hotel; Premier main gate Dhanraj Mall to Kamani Kurla (West); Jata Shankar Marg to Mulund check naka.

"We have approved these routes and are waiting for a no objection certificate (NOC) from the traffic department," said Vikas Pandkar, regional transport officer, eastern suburbs.

In the western suburbs, the routes that have been approved are: Tava Hotel to Bandra railway station; Bandra railway station to Taj Lands End to Carter Road; Bandra railway station to Khardanda Koliwada and Bandra to Dyneshwar Nagar.

Even unions agreed that share-an-auto routes would benefit both commuters and rickshaw drivers. "The authorities should decide the route and inform the unions," said Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary, Mumbai Autorickshaw Men's Union.

When questioned about the NOC pending with the traffic department, Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police, traffic, said he could not comment on the issue.

He, however, added that share-an-auto stands were a joint purview of the BMC, traffic department and the transport authorities.

"The job of the traffic police is only to overlook where the rickshaws would be parked and if it would add to the traffic congestion," he said.


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