4, 000 more permits for fleet cabs in May

Written By Unknown on Senin, 15 April 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state transport department has finally cleared the decks to issue 4,000 permits in May for fleet cabs in the city. This will take the number of fleet taxis to 10,000, which is the demand in the city.

A transport ministry source said, "The permits will be issued in May. They will be given preferably on a quota system, with ex-servicemen and women being encouraged to operate them. It will also help fleet cab operators like Meru, EasyCabs and Mega Cabs expand operations." Each operator is keen on procuring at least 500 more permits.

TABcab, which has a fleet of 1,850 taxis, has a surplus of 2,150 permits which it bought during a government auction a few years back. It plans to launch 950 cabs this month, which will take its fleet size to 2,800 - making it the numero uno operator in Mumbai region.

By then, the city will also have 6,000 more private taxis.

A senior RTO official said, "We have created three slabs of tariff cards for fleet taxis. This will be for taxis which cost less than Rs8 lakh, those in the range of Rs8 lakh to 12 lakh and a super premium tariff for cabs which cost more than Rs12 lakh." The official said there are taxis operating in the first two categories only (TABcab and TABcab Gold). The difference in fares between the two categories will be Rs3 per km.

"So, if you want to hire a premium segment car, which is expensive and is more luxurious, you have to pay more," the official said. TABcab plans to launch cars in the super premium category in the coming months. A Meru official said, "We also plan to go in for an expansion very soon. We are ensuring that the quality of service is at the highest level. We have trained, professional drivers and have introduced an sms tracker, wherein a family member or friend can track your car during the journey."

Union says Mega Cabs plying illegally

The Nitesh Rane union of black-and-yellow taxis will oppose the plying of Mega Cabs from Monday, as it has allegedly flouted transport department rules and is plying "illegally" in the city.

Union activist K K Tiwari said, "Every fleet cab operator should have a mandatory 500 permits and should ply the cabs on the road as per government rules. But Mega Cabs has 264 private taxis operating in Mumbai. This has been confirmed under the Right to Information Act. It is plying cabs illegally and should not be allowed to operate." RTO officials confirmed that there was a rule for every operator to ply a minimum 500 taxis, but said Mega Cabs had assured them that it will introduce more taxis "soon".

Binod Mishra of Mega Cabs said, "We want to launch more than 500 more taxis, but where are the permits? The government has been dilly-dallying on issuing permits. We hope to procure 500 in May, and have created infrastructure to run 764 cabs. The Rane union should not politicise the issue. If they are willing to sell us 500 permits, we are willing to buy them."

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