BENGALURU: The increase in domestic passenger traffic at the Bengaluru airport with every passing month means good news to a taxi service operated by women for women at the Kempegowda International Airport. Taxi service, GoPink, which was hugely popular among women flyers to Bengaluru, is now seeing much better days, a sharp contrast to the bleak future it was facing in the first quarter of this financial year.
Domestic flight operations shut since March 25 across the country have resumed from May 25 while regular international flights continue to remain shut from March 22 with only Vande Bharat Mission and the Air Travel Bubble flights operating. GoPink Co-founder Anuradha Udayshankar told The New Indian Express, "Our business is picking up now, particularly the last three months, and my drivers are extremely busy. In contrast to the scene experienced by male cab drivers of taxis operating to and from the airport who appear to be waiting for countless hours to get a customer, our cab drivers run four to five trips per day from KIA presently. In addition, they are getting requests for travel to outstation locations from Bengaluru."
The taxi service, which began operations at the airport on January 7, 2019, is fitted with GPS, Panic buttons, Mobile Data terminal devices as well as Pepper sprays to ensure safety of both the driver and the passenger.
Women, senior citizens and children are taken on board this service. Apart from pre-booking of taxis, spot booking too is permitted by GoPink. "We used to operate 24x7 earlier. In the absence of most international flights which used to land at night, we now operate from 5.30 am to midnight and sometimes even an hour beyond it," she said.
Though business is not anywhere near pre-COVID levels, Udayshankar was upbeat. "Traffic is picking up with each passing month due to the increase in passenger flow. More women drivers are showing an inclination to join our workforce," she added. Speaking about the health and safety protocol being observed bearing in mind the COVID scenario, the co-founder said that much care was taken before every trip.
"The vehicle is sanitised before every trip to ensure passenger safety. Masks are worn and physical distancing is maintained. None of our drivers has caught the Corona virus so far. Barring the first national lockdown, we have been operating daily," she explained. The women drivers have also been advised to use sanitizers frequently as well as inhale steam and have hot water baths after reaching home after work and they are adhering to it scrupulously, the co-founder added.