Already delayed by over six months, prepaid autorickshaw service at Badambadi bus terminus may finally get on ground with the dawn of 2014.
The modalities of the auto-service are in the advanced stages of finalisation. Plans are to enroll around 100 autos initially and gradually increase the number as per their performance and public response. The standard routes and fares are being fixed.
“The process of fare fixation as well as enrolment of vehicles for the service is expected to be complete within January. Prepaid autos will be rolled out immediately after,” ACP Traffic Pramod Rath said.
The service would come as a boon to the hundreds of passengers who face serious problems in arranging transport during the night. Arriving late in the night most are forced to stay at the bus stop till daybreak as transport for their homes or destinations are either unavailable or not reliable.
To address these problems, the Commissionerate police and the high-level committee on traffic has decided to start the prepaid autos with night services. The autos would operate from around 8 pm to 6 am.
Currently, there are over 1,000 autos plying from Badambadi to different parts of the city and its outskirts. The drivers would be thoroughly scrutinised for antecedents before being selected for the service so as to ensure safe commuting for the night time passengers.
The routes and fares from Badambadi would be in consonance with that of the Cuttack Railway station where the service has been very successful. The fares have been fixed on slabs by dividing the city into zones by taking distance into account. The city has been divided into 22 zones, besides a ring zone comprising a radius of two km for the Railway Station.
For the autorickshaws too, the prepaid service would be a relief as they can operate without fears of being pulled up by the police for moving late in the night and subjected to checking.