After facing stiff competition from app-based aggregators such as Uber and Ola, the black-and-yellow taxis can soon be booked using your phones.
The Mumbai Taximen’s Union and Mumbai Taxi Association — two of the biggest unions representing taxi drivers in the city — have decided to join hands to launch a taxi booking app.
“We have called a general body meeting of our union on Sunday, where we will ask for our members’ approval,” said AL Quadros, leader of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
The app will be outsourced to a professional company, which will develop and manage it. It will be free for passengers to download on their phones, but the drivers that register with it will have to pay a nominal fee.
The unions said they had already been approached by three companies.
At present, around 40,000 taxis, including air conditioned cool cabs, ply on city roads.
The unions claimed passengers will benefit from the app as they won’t have to go out hunting for a taxi. “It will also help in ensuring safety of the commuter, as the details of the taxi and driver will be available with us,” said Prem Singh, leader of Mumbai Taxi Association.
Taxi services by Ola and Uber have become a hit with commuters, thus, affecting the business of the regular black-and-yellow cab services. “We want to get back the drivers and the commuters we have lost to the aggregators,” said Quadros.