Finally, share taxis, a solution to the travel woes, is becoming a reality in Kochi. The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) is set to issue permits for share taxis soon.
Deputy Transport Commissioner P Sainudeen said the plan was to issue permits for those applying for a contract carriage permit. “Those who have the contract carriage permit can operate share taxi services in the city,” he added.
A sitting of State Fare Revision Committee is scheduled to be held on April 23 at Ernakulam Guest House to gather public opinion and suggestions in this regard. Representatives of the Justice Ramachandran Nair Fare Revision Committee, National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) and government officials will take part at the sitting.
Share taxi service is considered to be a suitable mode of public transport system to certain areas of city to where buses services are not available, especially routes like Deshabhimani road, Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, Suburban areas near Kakkanad.
Compared to other modes of transportation, share taxis offer more comfort at a cheap rate. A small number of people who want to go to the same destination or through the same route can rely upon thes service. The charges depend on the number of passengers and destinations. Share taxi services is prevalent in various metros exist in most of other metro cities in the country.
M B Sathyan, president, Private Bus Operators Association Ernakulam said the bus operators in the district were not against any such project that would benefit people. “We will surely co-operate with them. Permits should be issued to a route on the basis of frequency of bus services. He is of the opinion that it is absurd to compare share taxi fares with bus fares.
“Fares should be proportional to expenses. It is likely to be expensive for a smaller vehicle when comparing to heavy vehicles such as a bus,” he pointed out.
Welcoming the decision, president of Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) president P Rangadasaprabhu said it would be great relief for people of Kochi. “The greatest advantage of share taxi over other taxi services is that many can go in one trip itself. It will help in reducing environmental pollution by offering an alternative for private vehicle owners,” he said.