Kochi will become the second city in the state to have She Taxis on the road. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will launch the service on May 19. She Taxi, India’s first 24x7 women-only cab service facilitated by the government, has generated more than `15 lakh in revenues within five month of its launch.
The women-owned women-operated service introduced in Thiruvanathapuram in November last year with an initial fleet of five cars has now expanded to 20 cabs and has carried more than 9,000 passengers so far. She Taxi is the first off-campus project initiated by the Gender Park, established by Kerala’s Department of Social Justice to unify all activities aimed at attaining gender equity.
M K Muneer, Minister for Social Welfare and Panchayat, said the project has achieved remarkable progress both in terms of popularity and earnings in the last six months. “We started this business model to help women entrepreneurs earn a monthly income of at least `20,000. But, now the incomes are comfortably above that level,” M K Muneer said.
K M Abraham, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Social Justice, said She Taxi has opened up a whole new avenue of employment for women. “A sector like transport is not something that women entrepreneurs readily enter into, but the massive public response to She Taxi has changed that. Once the service expands to other cities, it is going to transform the lives of thousands of women in Kerala,” he said.
The customized pink and white taxis, supplied by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., have collectively covered more than 2,00,000 kilometres inside and outside the state. The women drivers have made outstation trips to Ponmudi and Munnar within Kerala and to destinations including Kanyakumari and Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
The Minister said She taxis will soon be introduced in Kozhikode in a phased manner. “Besides, the urban bodies in Hyderabad and Bangalore have expressed interest in replicating the She Taxi model and launching similar projects,” he said.