For once a toll free helpline has come to use.
The State Transport Department has decided to teach etiquette to taxi and rickshaw drivers, after they found most of the complaints on their toll free number — 1800-22-0110 — pertaining to rude and misbehaving drivers.
Of the 1,631 calls received, 1,474 were grievances against drivers. Nearly 65 per cent of the callers complained about drivers who argue and refuse to ply short distances.
In the western suburbs, Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Andheri fared the worst with 719 complaints, followed by eastern suburb RTO at Wadala with 510 complaints and 244 at Tardeo RTO. Action against 131 drivers has been taken based on these complaints.
“Most of the complaints were about drivers who refused to ply their vehicles. So, we want to give them lessons on etiquette after all its their source of earning,” said Transport Commissioner, Dilip Jadhav.
Maharashtra Economic Development Council (MEDC) will be conducting the classes at the Tardeo RTO from July 20.
At least 150 drivers will be taught for four hours everyday.
MEDC will also give a certificate to the drivers.
The course content includes soft skills such as greeting passengers and opening doors, taking them where they wish to go, avoiding chewing paan, gutkha or smoking while driving, wearing clean clothes and trying not to break traffic rules.
“We have received applications from 2,000 rickshaw and taxi drivers for the course. If the driver is unable to attend the class, then we can teach him as per his convenience," said an official from MEDC, requesting anonymity. MEDC wants to cover the two-lakh drivers across Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, of which 50,000 will be covered in next eight months.
However, there is no system to check whether these drivers will behave well with passengers after attending the classes.