Pre-paid autos at airport boon or bane for fliers? | india | Hindustan Times
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Pre-paid autos at airport boon or bane for fliers?

india Updated: Aug 01, 2009 01:38 IST
Soubhik Mitra

You could hire a pre-paid autorickshaw instead of a taxi from the airport from Saturday. But hiring a pre-paid autorickshaw could also mean long queues for a ride home.

The pre-paid coupons required to hire the three-wheeler will be available from the counters that issue coupons for pre-paid taxis.

“Already we have to stand long queues for pre-paid cabs. Clubbing autorickshaws in the same counter will add to the chaos,” said Manthan Desai, a frequent flier.

Desai, who works at a publicity firm, travels to Delhi more than once a week.

And evenings could be especially chaotic, when hundreds of fliers arrive in the city — about 60 flights land at the city airport between 6 pm and 10 pm.

“They should set up separate counters for us. It will be extremely chaotic to operate from the same counters,” said Kishan Pardesi, an autorickshaw driver. “Long queues will coax passengers to look for other options.”

Meanwhile, short-distance travellers are more likely to feel the pinch, as pre-paid auto fares are astonishingly high.

“A trip to Vile Parle station would cost me Rs 50. I just spend Rs 12 now,” said Sumeet Dhir, an architect who travels twice a week. Moreover, every baggage will add Rs 10 to the fare.

The new fare pattern was created keeping in mind the time that pre-paid vehicle drivers spent queuing up at the airport.

“After waiting the queue for two hours, do you think Rs 50 is too much?” said Prakash Singh, an auto driver.

The service was started for a day last month but shelved because of a poor response. The new fare chart is Rs 5 cheaper than the previous one.

But fliers argue that the new system works only for long distance travellers.

“People going for long rides will end up spending the same amount as earlier. The service will only ensure that the driver does not cheat you,” said Snehal Tiwari, a homemaker who flew back to the city on Friday.