GUWAHATI: Mizoram has finally found a solution to traffic snarls — two-wheeler cabs.
For the state’s hill capital Aizawl, traffic jams are common. So, some young people saw a business opportunity in their scooties and motorbikes. Over 500 such cabs are moving around beating traffic jams and making their “passengers” happy. What’s more, it is a huge craze among young working women. But that is also because women here are secure sitting behind strangers.
The service was launched in August last year with a group of youths rolling out two-wheelers on the streets. Soon, a number of others, some of them educated, joined in. The fare for the first two kilometres is Rs 20. It goes up by Rs 10 every kilometre thereafter.
Mapuia, who quit studies after clearing his Class 12 boards and embraced this trade, said the service helped him eke out a living.
“The two-wheeler taxis, operating in Aizawl, are registered with Mizoram’s transport department. There are around 500 youngsters who ride the cabs. As government jobs are not for everyone, we saw in it an avenue to earn a living. Some of us took bank loans to buy two-wheelers. Others had their own two-wheelers. We all are doing brisk business. I make around Rs 500 a day,” Mapuia said.
Among the riders is Malsawma, who is a post-graduate from the Indira Gandhi National Open University. “I teach at a coaching centre. Whenever I get time, I go out with my motorbike to earn some extra money,” he said with a grin.
John Zothansanga, a writer, said the service is popular as the roads are narrow and there is the perennial problem of traffic snarl in Aizawl.
“It takes less time because two-wheeler cabs can criss-cross through traffic jam,” he said.
Ruth Vanlalmalsawmi, a local woman, said, “It’s very convenient for passengers in heavy traffic and the fare is much cheaper compared to cabs,” Zodingpuii said.
Both the women said they do not have any problem riding pillion with strangers. Ever since the service was launched, there has not been a single incident to call the security of women pillion riders into question.