Travel across Mumbai’s metropolitan region seems to be going in the right direction. The city’s ageing black-and-yellow taxis are heading north, beyond the city’s limits.
“The number of black-and-yellow taxis running in the city has come down by 3,000, as they now prefer running in the suburbs of Thane and Navi Mumbai region,” said Mumbai Taxi Union, general secretary, A L Quadros.
There are more than 32,000 taxis in Thane district.
RTO sources said most taxis run on a ‘point-to-point basis’ carrying people from the railway station to their workplaces
“The point-to-point journey usually gives the drivers limited earnings although it is a daily routine. However, the drivers can earn more in suburbs where the concept of carpooling, by hiring these taxis, is slowly catching up with commuters traveling all the way from the suburbs to the city, apart from the government’s initiative of starting seamless travel,” said an RTO official.
The taxi union had asked for permission from the state government to allow point-to-point services on both Western and Eastern Express Highways.
At present, cabs are allowed to ferry passengers across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in a bid to improve the para-transit connectivity in the MMR.
According to the Basic Transport and Communication statistics for MMR, there are nearly 17 lakh private vehicles in Mumbai region, while the total fleet of taxis having permit is 56,000.
“It’s a good idea to allow taxis beyond city limits,” said PRK Murthy, Chief of Transport and Communication, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.