Coming soon: Prepaid taxis - The New Indian Express

Coming soon: Prepaid taxis

Published: 23rd October 2013 09:11 AM

Last Updated: 23rd October 2013 09:12 AM

The proposal to introduce prepaid taxi service at Thampanoor railway station and also near Technopark seems to have gained wings with UST Global, an IT firm, agreeing to develop the technical support for the facility. The authorities decided to the open prepaid taxi counters at these two places following the success of the prepaid autorickshaw counters at as many as six locations in the city.

 The Traffic authorities feel the facility would ensure easy transportation for passengers who alight at Thampanoor railway station and have to reach destinations outside the city.

In cases where passengers are more in number and there is much luggage with them, hiring an autorickshaw is practically impossible even for destinations in city limits.

 The prepaid service to be started near Technopark would  be of immense benefit for passengers, especially techies, in the area bound for the city and other areas. For techies, as only a few trains stop at Kazhakkoottam railway station, they have to reach Thampanoor railway station to board their trains. For this, most of them have to depend on a taxi or an auto. As a result, there is high demand for taxis among the techies.

The discussions on prepaid service with taxi drivers plying from the railway station and Kazhakkoottam have already started. As per estimate, around 25 taxis could be brought in to start the service. The authorities are also thinking of operating the service from the prepaid auto counter already functioning now. It has also been decided to use the present taxi stand for parking the cabs.

 According to taxi drivers, starting the facility will help most  passengers. “However, operating prepaid taxis within city limits would not be feasible as the distances are very less. For those passengers bound for places within the city, prepaid autos will be ideal in terms of fare and access,” said Hari, a taxi driver. “But for those hiring taxis to some distant location within the city limits, besides the outskirts, the facility will be a boon,” he added.

 The fare structure of the prepaid taxi system will be decided soon. The formulation of fares will take into account the interests of both the operators and passengers. “Along with the development of infrastructure by UST Global, fare structure for the taxis will be finalised. The process will get underway soon. Though no immediate deadline has been fixed, the target is to launch the prepaid taxi service this year itself,” said Traffic South CI Satheesh Kumar M R.

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