Rickety cabs and autos may soon become a thing of the past as the state government has directed the state transport authority (STA) to phase out taxis and autos more than 20 and 16 years old respectively. At present, the age limit for taxis is 25 years, while there is none for rickshaws.
The STA is now preparing a detailed scheme to reduce the age of taxis and autos in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). If the STA considers September 30 as the cut-off date for phasing out these old vehicles, more than 20,000 vehicles, including 4,464 taxis and 15,637 autos will go off roads.
About 48,000 taxis and 2,50,000 auto rickshaws ply in the MMR at present.
“The state government has issued directions to the STA to initiate appropriate measures for phasing out old taxis and rickshaws in the MMR,” said VN More, transport commissioner and member of STA.
The state government had hinted at the decision while approving the fare hike in accordance with the Hakim panel’s recommendations on October 5. According to sources, the final decision is likely to be taken in the next STA meeting, which takes place once within a quarter; the last meeting was held on October 29.
Mumbai Taximen’s Union leader AL Quadros said that the STA cannot reduce the age of taxis, since when the STA’s 2008 decision on age limit was challenged, the high court had decided it to be 25 years.