If you’ve ever been taken for a ride by local taxi and auto drivers looking to make a fast buck, here’s how you can counter them. A new website, taxiautofare.com provides extensive information on commuting in Mumbai as well as 20 other Indian cities, apart from over a hundred other cities across nine countries. The site helps users calculate the taxi and auto fare to local destinations and displays a Google Map with the detailed route and distance. The service covers the regular black and yellow taxi and auto services as well as over 10 private cab operators.
“The website emerged from my personal experience of travelling in new cities. Like every one else, I would be cheated by local auto and taxi drivers. Things were more difficult if I couldn’t understand the local language, like in Bangalore,” says Pune-based Swapneel Shah, creator of taxiautofare.com. Having worked with Patni Computers and Goldman Sachs as a computer engineer, Shah quit his job last year to work full-time on this project. “Developing a site like this was always at the back of my mind,” he says.
Taxiautofare.com also allows users to compare, review, rate and share their experiences with taxi, auto and cab operators. Another useful feature on the site is the petrol price calculator that lets you calculate your fuel consumption over short and long distances.
But compiling this huge amount of data wasn’t child’s play, “It was challenging to cover fares across many cities and ensure that they are updated and accurate. We were happy to get this information from our users who volunteer to report fares in their cities and contribute towards this initiative,” says Shah. Currently, he is working on expanding to cities abroad too: “The response from our users has been good and a lot of them have been urging us to cover cities in UK and USA as well. So, we’re working on it and by the end of this month, we should be able to cover most cities in UK.”