It was a grand plan of the Transport Department to spruce up the public transport system of the city. Ironically, it failed to take off as planned. The launch of the Radio Taxi system in the city was grounded after its flag off on December 8, this year.
The reason for the grounding – the department could not figure out how these CNG fitted radio taxis would get a licence. For the retrofitted CNG taxis, there was no system in place to give permanent licence.
Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf told HT, “There were some teething problems earlier regarding registration which has now been sorted out. Another company is going to launch its fleet of taxis on Tuesday”. The minister claimed the entire public transport system in the city is being overhauled. “We aim to run 10,000 GPS fitted Radio Taxis in the city by the time Commonwealth Games are held in the city,” he said.
Interestingly, the minister had flagged off the first batch of Metro Radio Cab taxis on December 8. After being flagged off, the taxis went back to their parking lot instead of ferrying passengers in the city. The phone numbers of the central control room kept ringing for the request of the taxis but they could not be made available to the commuters.
S Aggarwal of the company said that problems related to registration of retrofitted CNG vehicles was the reason for taking the taxis off the streets after flag off. “We hope to run the service now,” he added.
Yusuf said, “The dial a cab service is part of the government plan to reduce dependence on personal cars.” The minister said some new features would be introduced like credit card swipe machine and online reservations system. “These fleet of taxis would not only be safe and secure but also luxurious and comfortable,” Yusuf added.
The Transport Department has issued licences to three companies – Metro Radio Cab, Carzonent, an India licencee of Hertz International and Mega Corporation for running modern fleet of GPS fitted AC taxis. They would charge Rs 25 for the first km and then Rs 15 per km. Carzonent would launch its fleet called “Easycabs” on Tuesday.