No smooth ride for pink auto service

The much-hyped ‘pink auto’ service exclusively for women passengers has not many takers. According to drivers, the commuter response is much below expected. A driver who used to get up to Rs 1,000 daily now has to settle for a meagre Rs 400.
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Updated on Jan 24, 2011 12:38 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Gurgaon

The much-hyped ‘pink auto’ service exclusively for women passengers has not many takers. According to drivers, the commuter response is much below expected. A driver who used to get up to Rs 1,000 daily now has to settle for a meagre Rs 400.

“This is more of a social service than a business. Our endeavour was to provide a safe mode of transport to women. Since we can’t run it on losses and we should be given some kind of support by the administration,” said Salim Khan, president of the Pink Auto Association.

The initiative was launched in the wake of an incident in which a call centre employee was raped. The police have been working on this project for some time. “There are certain problems which need to be sorted out. We get most of our passengers from Metro stations which means we have to return without passengers. The fare needs to be fixed,” Khan added.

Initially, the police had launched the project with 12 autos and later added 20 more to the fleet. The local police have verified the drivers of these autos. The service is available on main roads of Gurgaon and Metro stations.

“It was a good initiative and if the service provider is facing difficulty then the authority should address it. We feel safe in a pink auto, and want more and more such initiatives,” said Sheetla, a BPO employee.

DCP( traffic) Bharti Arora said, “If pink auto drivers are facing any problem, we will sort them out.”

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