Visakhapatnam: To ensure first and last mile connectivity with the city railway station, the railway authorities had planned to provide app-based cab services from the city railway station premises. However, even after inviting tenders from interested parties to facilitate the cab aggregator services, no one has come forward so far.
“We had identified two locations both on the PF-1 and PF-8 side. However, the platform-1 side cannot accommodate adequate cabs due to space constraint. Moreover, the plan is to develop better communication system from the PF-8 side where passengers find it difficult to get autos or taxis,” said a senior railway official of Waltair Railway division. Over 2,000 passengers could use the app-based cab services daily, according to the feasibility study conducted by the East Coast Railway zone to assess the viability gap.
“Tender was invited twice. However, no one has shown any interest. We may not float the tender again but are exploring alternative options. Talks with IRCTC are going on to check if they can tie up with the cab services and make it happen,” the senior official added. The taxis and autorickshaws mostly prevent the cabs to enter the station premises to pick passengers.
Hence, commuters left with no option had to go out of the city railway station premise carrying heavy luggage to avail the app-based cabs. It may be noted that the railways had kept the tender value comparatively low price at `1.75 crore as for the first time such initiative was being taken. The operator will be given a contract of one year.
M. Venkat from Vizag, a frequent rail commuter working in Vijayawada said, “The city station is introducing new facilities, but we have been waiting for the app-based cab services from station premises to enjoy a hassle-free journey. It is painful for commuters carrying luggage and to go out of the station premises to avail the cab services.”...