Technical issues delay Mumbai's swanky cabs

The first set of 30 cabs will be operational in south Mumbai from Nov 1, followed by 100 cabs in a month's time, reports Rajendra Aklekar.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2006 20:39 IST

So where are the new cabs that the chief minister flagged a week ago?

Busy grappling with technical issues and test runs, fleet operators say they will launch the new cabs in phases.

The first set of 30 cabs will be operational in south Mumbai from November 1, followed by 100 cabs in the island city in a month's time.

"We have had successful test runs for the past one week, but there is some technical delays as we have not been able to get the proper bandwidth for the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and are working on the problem. It's a complex technology but given the present status of all the equipment, we should be able to confidently launch the service in south Mumbai by November 1," said Arun Sabnis, managing director of Fulora Foundation that is backing the pioneering company, Mumbai Gold Cabs.

"We have had good response so far. In the past one week since the launch on October 18, we have been receiving 60-70 calls per day. After starting operations in south Mumbai next week, we shall then focus on getting a fleet of 100 cars on the road in a month's time," he said.

All eyes were on the swanky cabs that were launched last week, including a fleet of spanking new Indigo-Marinas and Esteems being run with hi-tech facilities like GPRS, GPS and are fully air-conditioned, having electronic meters with billing facility, a big change from the traditional black and yellow top Premier Padmini Mumbai cabs modelled on the 1962 Fiat 1100.

But for all this, Mumbaikars will have to wait for another week.

First Published: Oct 25, 2006 20:39 IST