CHENNAI: It’s not just the suburban trains or autos that were in demand due to the strike by the State’s transport union. Bookings for call taxis, the preferred mode of transport for many in the city, too went up.
“Normally we get close to 20,000 calls on a Sunday. However, today the number went up to 40,000. We had to turn down more than 50 per cent of the callers,” said M Prabu, chairman of Fast Track, a leading taxi operator in the city, adding that by 8 pm, the company’s cars had made around 15,000 trips across the city. The number for normal Sundays is usually around 12,000-13,000, he said. Many drivers, who normally took Sundays off, were also called back due to the unprecedented rush, he added.
S Illango, director of NTL call taxi said there was a 10% increase in the call volumes. However, both companies said that they stuck to the regular fare structure despite increased demand. Sunday witnessed a high number of requests for drop to Chennai Central and Egmore, Prabu said.
In an e-mail statement, yet another firm, TaxiForSure, said that there had been a 50 per cent increase in their call volumes compared to last Sunday, attributing it to local developments apart from their marketing initiatives.
While a representative of Ola Cabs said call volumes weren’t available, he said that there was no change in the fare structure even during high demand periods.