Brace for a bumpy ride, prepaid autos will no longer ply from Thane station | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Brace for a bumpy ride, prepaid autos will no longer ply from Thane station

An autorickshaw union said it cost Rs 3 lakh to Rs4 lakh to run the service over the past two years, but they only earned Rs20,000 in that period

mumbai Updated: Apr 26, 2017 09:35 IST
Megha Pol
Thane was the first city in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to start the prepaid autorickshaw service on May 1, 2015.
Thane was the first city in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to start the prepaid autorickshaw service on May 1, 2015.(Praful Gangurde)

Prepaid autorickshaws will no longer ply from Thane station owing to poor response from commuters resulting in financial losses, said autorickshaw unions in the city. Regional transport office (RTO) officials said they would rectify the problems with the service, and then reintroduce prepaid autos with improved features in about a month.

“We decided to cancel the services two weeks ago. We had spent Rs3 lakh to Rs4 lakh over the past two years to set up this service and pay our employees. However, we have only earned Rs40,000 tilll now. Only 20 to 30 people book these autos from the station daily,” said Mohammad Rafiq Mohhammad Hussain alias Akbar, the vice-president of Viju Natekar rickshaw union.

Thane was the first city in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to start the service on May 1, 2015. Prepaid autos in the city were operated by the Viju Natekar union. RTO officials had said prepaid autorickshaws would run not only from Thane station, but also from the city’s interiors. Prepaid autorickshaw stands were expected to come up at busy routes and bus stops in the city. However, the proposal remained only on paper.

Commuters said counters shut around 8.00 pm, which inconveniences those who wish to book prepaid autos late at night. “Unlike Pune or Banglore, which are tourist destinations, Thane is a dormitory city. This is why prepaid autos were not a success here. It will take us a month to restart the service with new features such as late-night counters. Prepaid services will not run until then,” an RTO official who did not wish to be identified.