The state government is likely to roll out an app-based taxi operation with its small fleet of cabs run by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) on a pilot basis.
The GTDC hitherto has a fleet of 12-14 cars driven by women drivers which were rolled out in 2014. This was aimed at generating employment for women domiciled in the state.
Meanwhile, the Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) and the transport department have said that they have no plans to own fleet of taxis but their plans were to motivate and enroll private taxi operators to use their app-based services.
The KTCL will tie up with the transport department and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to run app-based taxi service along the lines of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber for the convenience of commuters.
In a bid to attract taxi operators, the KTCL will also partner with leading car dealers and connect drivers with car dealerships and lenders to avail special schemes for the existing and new taxi drivers joining its platform to become financially independent in running their own business.
Under the scheme, the drivers can avail offers and services through KTCL’s partnerships with leading automobile dealers, the KTCL officials have said. However, it remains to be seen whether the private taxi owners will join the app-based services or decide to stay out. The taxi operators will have a choice to enroll their cars under digital platform and earn good money.
Taking cue from online cab services, which are making a fortune through mobile apps, the KTCL has recently decided to jump onto the technology-driven bandwagon and has also planned to appoint consultant to suggest modalities to run such an operation.
This move comes at a time when taxi operators across the state have opposed the app-based taxi services, saying that app-based taxi service was a threat to their livelihood.
Meanwhile, the Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) is in the final stages of preparing an app and central tracking response system that will be able to provide commuters and enforcement agencies with comprehensive information about local taxis.
Before launching the app, taxis will be fitted
with an electronic device with an inbuilt digital fare meter with printer, GPS, panic button, and debit card swipe slots integrated with overhead display board connected to web based application- Central Tracking Response System (CTRS), to help identify location of any particular taxi.
The GEL will also have a dedicated call centre to attend complaints received via app or from mobile phones of any passenger encountering any problem while using a taxi. Those found or suspected to be overcharging and not putting on meter would be dealt with firmly.