Improving Mumbai’s transport services with holistic solutions – Auto and Taxis
The fare hike for auto rickshaw services in Pune has inspired their Mumbai comrades to renew their demand for fare hike. According to the new fare hike, that came into effect on October 15 the base rate for Pune is Rs.17, making an auto ride costlier than in Mumbai. In Pune, the first 1.5 km will cost Rs.17 and every subsequent kilometer Rs 11.65. In comparison Mumbai’s current fare starts with Rs.15 for the first 1.5 km and Rs 9.87 for every subsequent kilometer. The union has cited reasons such as cost of living, cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance costs and low wages in context of the hours spent. This comes close on the heels of the continued demands by daily commuters for better measures and strict guidelines for operating auto rickshaws.
Although RTO cracked down on auto and taxi drivers refusing to ply in the past; better, inclusive and broader solutions are needed. The toll free helpline provided by the RTO (1800-22-0110) has received a total of 1,548 complains in the past year with an even more number of such incidents going unreported. With both the auto unions and the citizens demanding necessary changes, the RTO and the state government must lay down a set of measures and rules that address the issue holistically and ensure they are uniformly followed.
Our suggestion is as under
- The taxis and rickshaws should never refuse to ply
- Authorities need to be very strict against offenders
- Providing each vehicle (taxis and auto rickshaws) an identification card mentioning the working time and lunch/break times explicitly. This card should always be present in the vehicle.
- It is equally important that specific regulations are framed for compliance taking care of all the stakeholders.
- Working on a transparent and accurate method of fare revision calculations rather then bringing them into effect arbitrarily
We are taking up the issue with the government authorities and the service provider unions directly and also shall request media to help create awareness and pressure on the authorities. We look forward to your suggestion and support to take up better governance for stopping such incidents.
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