Zip through city roads in cool cabs

PATNA: Patnaites will soon be able to avail the services of luxury cabs at a reasonable price. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) has decided to run radio taxis in the city from next month. As per BSTDC’s plan, as many as 60 air-conditioned taxis will ply on the city roads soon.

Besides, on the lines of cab services provided by various private companies like Meru Cabs etc in metros, the BSTDC also plans to introduce 24×7 door-to-door metered taxis in the city. The service, which will be provided in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode, will enable city commuters to travel in SUVs and luxury cars. “These taxis will be available round the clock at the doorsteps of commuters,” said Ghanshyam Prasad Dafftuar, general manager of the BSTDC.

But the cabs won’t be available on a sharing basis. They would only be available to passengers who want to reserve the entire taxi for themselves. Customers can call these taxis from anywhere in the city and a cab will be sent to their doorstep to take them to reach their destinations. Dafftuar told TOI the fare of these cabs would be in the range of around Rs 15 per km.

The tenders for purchasing, maintaining and running these taxis have been given to two companies – Leeway Logistics, Patna and Pune-based Saiba Enterprises. City commuters can avail of SUVs and cars like Innova, Xylo, Indica, Ford and many more. “The brands of the cars are yet to be decided. Once that is done, these companies would buy the cars and then all the formalities, including registration of the taxis, would be completed,” said Dafftuar.

For the operation of this service, the BSTDC will establish a round-the-clock call centre. Customers would be required to call a toll-free number and book a cab, which would reach them in less than 15 minutes. The private companies plan to open dispatch and maintenance centres for these taxis at all the major localities in the city.

The BSTDC is also installing GPS facilities in the cabs to keep a check on their movement and CCTV cameras in order to ensure the safety of the passengers. These taxis would have a digital tamper-proof meter on board and the printed receipt would be given to the passenger after reaching the destination. Commuters would also receive a message on their mobile phones stating the boarding point and the destination, the time and distance travelled and the fares.

These taxis would also provide the passengers with newspapers and magazines during the time of travel. “The drivers of these taxis will be employed by the companies itself, but we will be do a full verification of their identity and documents,” said Dafftuar.

He added if the service proves to be successful in the city, then the BSTDC would bring more cabs and start providing radio taxis from Patna to other districts as well.

Source: TOI

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