Mumbai: 7,800 taxis to hit the road in six months

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 21:43 IST

The task of finding a taxi and convincing the driver to take you to your destination will get easier soon.

After more than a month’s delay, the transport department will conduct a lottery for allotting 7,843 taxi permits in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Saturday. The new taxis, which will hit the roads within six months, are expected to overcome the taxi shortage and fare refusals plaguing commuters.

Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis will draw lots at the Vidhan Bhavan at 5.30pm, the transport commissioner’s office said. The process will be completed at the Andheri RTO and winners will get a SMS alert on their registered mobile numbers.

After November 1997, this is the first time the state government is issuing permits for black-and-yellow taxis, that too in such a large number. With this, the number of black-and-yellow taxis in the city will cross 40,000.

About a decade ago, more than 50,000 black-and-yellow taxis, including air-conditioned Cool taxis, plied in the city. However, in the past few years, the number fell to 35,000, after the government banned vehicles older than 20 years and those not complying with revised pollution norms.

This caused a shortage of taxis, resulting in commuters having trouble finding taxis, especially during peak hours. Instances of drivers refusing fares also increased.

“More competition will compel drivers to rethink their behaviour, and fare refusals will go down” said a senior regional transport officer.

Mahaonline, a joint venture of the Maharashtra government and a private firm, has created a special software for the permit The transport department had invited online applications for the lottery, for which 27,064 people across MMR applied. lottery, which was earlier used for holding autorickshaw lotteries.

The transport department had invited online applications for the lottery, for which 27,064 people across MMR applied.

There are several graduates among the applicants, besides more than 150 women.

Originally, the transport department was to hold the lottery on October 10, but had to postpone it because of the Assembly elections code of conduct. Thereafter, it was scheduled to take place on October 28, but was deferred again owing to a transport council meeting in New Delhi.

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