PMPML to introduce e-cabs in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad
PUNE: The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has initiated an online survey with the aim to soon launch e-cabs for the citizens of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The e-cabs will be cheaper than auto-rickshaws as well as Uber and Ola services, officials said. This may be the first time the public sector transport agency is considering adding air-conditioned e-cabs to their existing fleet.
Dattatreya Zende, traffic manager, PMPML, said, “This is a big project for us and as of now, we are conducting an online survey to find out what commuters’ needs are and how we can best fulfill them. A consultant from Ernst & Young is helping PMPML create this new service model.”
The proposed model has 200 such e-cabs plying between the city’s main areas such as Shivajinagar, Deccan, Swargate, Camp and Pune railway station, with 150km to be covered daily.
“We also plan to introduce a pink cab service dedicated to women. Once the model is approved, which should be in six months, we will introduce an app for booking. We are also going to have e-cab stands for on-the-spot booking for those who don’t have smartphones. The fares of these cabs will be pegged at Rs10 per kilometre which is cheaper compared to other private services as of now,” Zende said.
The PMPML e-cabs will also offer daylong and Pune darshan (tourist spots) services.
Meanwhile, regular commuters on PMPML buses and auto-rickshaws welcomed the idea.
Ajit Paradkar, a professional, said, “I am a regular traveller on the PMPML bus from Aundh to Marketyard though I often wait for e-buses which are very comfortable to travel. I will be glad to use e-cabs if they are introduced. When we go out as a family, private cab services tend to be expensive especially during peak hours. If the PMPML offers the same comfort for less, we will definitely opt for the service.”
Sakhiee Nagpure, for whom e-cabs may be a godsend, said, “I often use auto-rickshaws to visit the peths and that is harassment as drivers blatantly refuse to ferry you to your destination. If I am getting better service than them, I will gladly use e-cabs.”
A commuter from Kalyani Nagar who has to frequently travel to Camp finds private cab services unreliable and expensive. “If the PMPML is offering a better deal and that too an air-conditioned cab, I will surely opt for that,” she said.
Anjali Raju is very happy with the e-buses except when they break down. “I will be happy if they have a woman driver on the cabs because that way, we will be much more comfortable travelling from point to point in the city.”