Uber-effect: Kerala Taxi cuts rates

Minimum charge of CPM-backed service down to Rs 100

Kochi: The fare war has literally come to the street. In an apparent move to take on its big corporate rivals, the CPM-backed online and app-based taxi service ‘Kerala Taxi’ has cut down minimum hiring fare by Rs 50 to Rs 100. “We want to woo more riders travelling short distances, especially within the city. Now the minimum fare will be Rs 100 for 3 km instead of Rs 150 for 5 km earlier. We’ve already started implementing this.

A formal decision in this regard will be taken at a committee meet to be held later this week,” said D. Manikuttan, secretary, Ernakulam District Car Drivers' Welfare Society. Ever since its launch in the first week of March, the call-taxi portal was charging government-fixed rate of Rs 10 per km, with a minimum charge of Rs 150.

The platform for the traditional drivers was created after the app-based cab services Uber and Ola started eating into the income of traditional taxi drivers. So far, ‘Kerala Taxi’ had concentrated on long distance travelers as Uber and Ola vied for city riders by slashing fares as low as Rs 7 per km.

The traditional taxi drivers’ group also plans to cut the per km charge by Rs 2 or Rs 3 in the near future. The services are currently being operated by the Vytilla-based Taxi Drivers’ Welfare Society and if found successful, it would be extended to other parts of the state, Mr Manikuttan said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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