If you want to travel in a luxury taxi, pay more.
Soon the model of the taxi you hire — a regular cab or a luxury one — would determine the fare you will pay as more fleet cab services, even international ones, will enter the market.
As per a recent provision made by the transport authorities under the fleet taxi scheme, the fare depends on the cost of the taxi.
For instance, if a passenger hires a taxi, that costs less than Rs 5 lakh, the initial fare would be Rs 17 per km and increase by Rs 14 per km. But for high-end taxis, that cost more than Rs 5 lakh, the initial fare would be Rs 20 per km and would increase by Rs 14 per km.
The fare further increases depending on the cost-slab of the vehicle.
“The idea is to encourage luxurious cars as taxis so that people using such cars need not bring their vehicles and take public transport. This can reduce the congestion in business districts of the city,” said transport commissioner Dilip Jadhav.
The four fleet taxi services in the city use Tata Indigo, Mahindra Logan and Hyundai Accent — all cost more than Rs 5 lakh.
Sources said a Singapore based fleet taxi operator is planning to enter Mumbai market with hi-end vehicles. The existing operators in Mumbai too have plans to introduce luxury cars to cater to clients from corporate sector.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Carzonrent launched Easy Cabs, Mumbai’s fifth fleet taxi service, which will run Hyundai Accents.
Initially, there will be 100 Easy Cabs and the number is expected to grow to 1,000 by the year-end.
“We will charge passengers as specified by the state government,” said Rajiv Vij, CEO, Carzonrent.
In a related development, the state transport department feels that levying congestion tax is necessary, but difficult to implement as it depends on several factors such as consensus from departments concerned and a nod from the state government.
“The decision on whether or not to levy congestion tax depends on the state government,” said S. Shastrabudhe, joint transport commissioner.
The transport department has allowed the fleet taxi services to have a minimum of 500 vehicles in their fleet with a cap at 10,000. There are a total of 2,070 taxis of the four fleet taxi companies that ply in the city since 2006.