Beating the competition just got really ‘cool’. The city’s black and yellow taxis have decided to offer Mumbaiites braving sweltering temperatures its air conditioning services at no extra cost. All they’re asking is a small tip at the end of the ride.
Currently, if a passenger asks for the service, cabbies charge 10% of the fare for it, which is not allowed under the Motor Vehicle Rules. So, if the minimum fare is Rs 16, then the AC charge is around Rs1.60 (rounded off to Rs2).
On Monday, the Mumbai Taximen’s Union asked its drivers and taxi owners to switch on the air conditioning inside their vehicles if the passenger demands it but not charge extra for it. “We have asked drivers to not charge more than the metered fare. We can only appeal to people to voluntarily tip the driver for the service,” said A Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
The union has also written to the state transport department for more clarity on the issue. “We have received their letter on this subject. But we will have to study the basis on which they can ask for tips. One thing is clear: drivers cannot ask for more money on the basis of the meter rate,” a senior official from the transport department said.