KOCHI: ‘She Taxi’, the all-woman taxi service launched in the state with a view to empowering and ensuring a safe ride of women in 2014, is almost dead. At present, out of the 31 cabs that existed, only eight are left with the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC), which launched the scheme in the state.
“Out of the eight remaining cabs, five are driving for KSWDC and the rest are doing service for other government departments,” said Asha S, project manager, KSWDC.
She said the entry of online taxi services like Uber and Ola became the major reason for the programme to fail. “The lack of an online system for booking and the less number of cabs have caused the decline of the programme. With just 30 cabs the services come nowhere next to online taxis which come around over 5,000 taxis offering their services,” said Bindu Dhanesh, a cab driver, who worked with Kudumbashree Travels when launched in Kochi but it also encountered the same threat from the private players.
If ‘She Taxi’ and Kudumbashree Travels were launched with some planning and the online app then it would have made a difference, it will not have been a failure, said Bindu.
When the ‘She Taxi’ was launched in Kochi back in 2014, it promised services for women especially those who travelled alone during the night. “Out of the seven cabs, now we have only three but they are also not cooperating with us. Altogether, there is no ‘She Taxi’ service available here,” said Rangan M S, regional manager, KSWDC, Ernakulam.
“The white streaked with pink cabs are nowhere to be seen in Kochi anymore. Earlier, we could at least spot one, and we were relieved that at night we could travel safely in women ridden taxis but with the ‘She Taxi’ services stopped the sigh of relief vanished,” said Suji Raghu, a resident of Kochi.