Kochi: The women’s auto-taxi service started by the Kudumbasree Mission will shortly operate door-to-door with a toll free number for availing the service.
The enhanced service comes in the wake of a rather lukewarm response to the women-operated Bhagyasree service. It is hoped it will encourage more people, especially women, to use this safer mode of transport.
“The move, which takes its cue from the model adopted by the She Taxi network in the state capital, aims at drawing more customers and raise the overall demand for the service,” said Tani Thomas, district mission coordinator, Kudumbasree Ernakulam.
The customer just has to dial a centralised number for hiring the taxi. The call will be redirected to the taxi available in the client’s vicinity.
The Bhagyasree service is struggling hard to find customers in the absence of an exclusive stand. The service is open to all passengers though the perception is that it is only for women.
Each vehicle was purchased for Rs 2.75 lakh. An overall subsidy of Rs 3 lakh was granted but despite this the operators are struggling to repay the remaining amount because of the sharp fall in demand.
Mayor Tony Chammany said that it was not practical for the corporation to establish an exclusive stand for such a small fleet. “They have to expand their service by adding more number of taxis and only then we will establish a stand,” he said....