QUEEN’S ROAD: A one-way taxi ride from Bengaluru to Mysuru is now available at just a fourth of the regular fare.
An innovative cab operator has quietly begun this service. Cabs4share, which calls itself a “one-way long distance shared rental service,” was launched a fortnight ago by Cabs 24x7, a pan-India car rental operator.
A Srinivasa Rao, Managing Director and CEO of Signia Corporate Services, which operates the service, told Express it was the first service of its kind in the country and its objective was to make long-distance travel comfortable and affordable.
The only other route operational now is Mumbai-Pune.
How it works
This is a door-to-door pre-paid cab service that sends you an air-conditioned sedan or an Innova.
Three passengers are permitted to share a sedan, and the cost from Bengaluru to Mysuru is `1,100 a passenger.
Travel by Innova is priced at `900 and four passengers share a ride. Children below five get to travel free.
“A similar taxi journey, taken solo, would work out to `4,000 in a sedan and `5,500 in an Innova,” explains Rao.
The reason for the high fare is that a passenger is always charged for both onward and return trips, and the practice of charging for just one way is not in existence for long drives anywhere in the country.
The website www.cabs4share.com has already got 70 registrations and its Facebook page has garnered 1,600 likes.
The site went live on December 26, 2014 but the first group booking it has received is for January 19.
(The website displayed slightly higher fares when this report went to print but the discounted fares will be up on the site shortly, according to Rao.)
Considering the notoriety web-based taxi operators have earned after the rape by a Uber taxi driver, how safe will this service be for women?
All the 570 cabs operating are third-party ones, and their credentials are verified, according to Rao. “The drivers’ background have been thoroughly checked. We have checked the vehicle documents as well,” Rao says.
Women passengers can travel in an all-women group if they prefer it that way. All journey preferences are taken into consideration on the website at the time of booking.
Customers are encouraged to share their social media details so that co-passengers can get an idea of who they are travelling with.
This is not compulsory but incentives are provided for those who share a bit of info about themselves. Smoking and drinking during the journey are strictly prohibited.
Since it is a door-to-door pick up service, the website is programmed in such a way that it clubs individuals residing in one area so that not much time is spent in getting the journey started.
“We are looking at a minimum of 50 rides a day. That will enable us to bring down the cost per passenger by 25 per cent more,” Rao says.
The service hopes to extend the service to 30 more cities