BENGALURU: Move over, Ola/Uber, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation is planning to start app-based taxis and courier services across the state. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to help with technology. However, discussions are still in the preliminary stage.
This new venture is likely to generate additional funds for the transport department, which has been in the red due to the lockdown. The department is planning to tie up with ISRO for technology-related support for many services, and has even appointed a coordinator between the government and ISRO scientists. “Mobile app-based taxi service is only one of the services,’’ sources said.
The department has completed one round of discussions, and officials are expected to meet senior ISRO representatives in the next few days. The department is also planning to launch ‘Namma Courier’ with the aid of KSRTC, NEWRTC and NWRTC. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is due to launch it soon, and the government is looking at an annual revenue of Rs 100 crore.
Tenders have been called and are in the final stage, and bidders will be given space in bus stands to set up the service. “We have KSRTC reservation franchises in many places. Customers can hand over packages at these counters. From here, they will reach the nearest bus stand, and in-house infrastructure of bus network will be used.
At the destination, agency staff will pick up and deliver the packages to customers,’’ said sources. The lockdown due to the pandemic had driven up losses of the State-owned corporation, which is paying salaries with great difficulty. Asked why Road Transport Corporations (RTCs) are entering taxi and courier service, Transport Minister Laxman Savadi said RTCs may not make profits, but salaries and other expenses need to be paid. “Additional revenue from these services can help RTCs,’’ he stated.