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New Taxi App ‘Baxi’ to Provide Roadside Pickup and commission-free registration and enrolment to Cab Drivers

The app was launched on Thursday across seven cities, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru

Taxi App (Representational Image), VOA

New Delhi, March 24, 2017: People in Delhi and some other cities will now have a wider choice of taxis with the launch of a new app that also provides roadside pickup and commission-free registration and enrolment to cab drivers.

The app was launched on Thursday across seven cities, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.

The app ‘Baxi’, which has been joined by some of the taxi drivers who had stuck work last month over financial issues related to major taxi aggregators, offers fixed pricing — which means no surge pricing.

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“The base fare for cabs would be Rs 50, beyond which Rs 9 per km and Rs 1 per minute of waiting charge shall be charged. It would not have any surge charges,” Vinayak Sawant, the city head of Baxi in Mumbai, told IANS.

Sawant said that Baxi had received about 800 applications from cabbies across Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida till a day before the app was launched.

“We have launched Baxi app for cabs across NCR and Mumbai, which is a free app, with tie up with taxi unions. This was to support the disheartened drivers who had gone on strike,” Sawant told IANS.

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Praful Shinde from the Mumbai Taxi Union said that they had to take this step as the existing taxi aggregators were not providing the business they promised.

“They initially promised good business but slowly after capturing market, they rolled out their own cabs and began diverting the business… There are over 7,000 cabbies in Mumbai, who have decided to shift to the new platform,” Shinde told IANS.

According to him, the app also offers roadside pickup, which means that a person can hire a cab without a phone. “Many people do not want to share their phone number while booking cabs.”

Referring to the competition from leading taxi aggregators, who offer rides at lesser rates, the taxi union leader said that they were counting on more drivers to shift to the new app.

“During surge pricing, I remember being charged Rs 6,200 after an IPL match from Wankhede stadium to Thane. In the new app, there will be no surge pricing. We are counting on such features,” Shinde said.

Next Story

Goa’s Tourist Taxis at War Again with App-based Cabs

Many of the app-based taxi owners and drivers are also part of the village panchayat and the resolution passed by the panchayats will adversely affect their interests, the spokesperson added

Calvim Ferry in Goa. Goa can be
Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting. Wikimedia Commons

The recurring war between tourist taxi drivers of Goa versus operators of the state’s only app-based taxi service, Goamiles, saw a sudden spurt over the last 24 hours, with several Goamiles taxi drivers being threatened, one of their taxis stoned and a coastal village panchayat poised to ban them from its jurisdiction.

On Saturday, Goamiles spokesperson Justine Nunes said that while the agency is authorised by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, there are, however, vested interests who are creating trouble for its drivers, which is causing hardship to tourists.

“Lately lots of people with vested interests are working against this initiative and creating lots of trouble for the taxi owners and drivers who have opted to be a part of the Goamiles service,” Nunes said, on a day when Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao led a protesting group of taxi drivers to a tourist resort where Goamiles taxis were parked and stoned one vehicle, forcing the drivers to move their vehicles out.

“These Goamiles taxis are threatening the livelhood of our local taxi drivers. They cannot be allowed to operate in Goa,” Alemao told reporters.

“Goamiles is an authorised business initiative drafted and crafted by Goa Tourism Development Corp. This initiative is mainly in the interest of Goan taxi owners and tourists visiting Goa to have a win-win situation for all stakeholders,” Nunes said.

We feel this successful concept has been misunderstood by some local taxi owners due to vested interests of few,” he added.

A section of Goa’s 10,000 odd tourist taxis and their drivers have often been accused of over-charging, intimidating and operating in an unregulated environment.

Several attempts by the state government to install and implement a fare-meter system have failed, even as members of the taxi lobby have also attacked tour coach buses ferrying foreign tourists, accusing tour operators of depriving them of business.

Some years back, a flare-up between a Russian travel operator and a local taxi owner resulted in the murder of the latter, sparking hostilities between locals and Russian tourists, who account for a large chunk of the half million foreign tourists who visit the state every year.

The state also attracts more than seven million domestic tourists every year, who often face hardship due to the overpriced and irregular public transports system.

Photo: www.buzzparas.com

Ola taxi services were introduced in Goa in 2014, but were soon stopped by the state transport department following protests by local taxi operators.

Following complaints by tourists and tourism industry stakeholders about overcharging by taxi operators, the government-operated Goa Tourism Development Corporation partnered with a private agency to set up Goamiles a couple of years back as a response to some fervent petitioning.

But the politically savvy taxi lobby has been opposed to the app-based operator, claiming it infringes on their business.

On Sunday (June 2), the village panchayat of Anjuna-Caisua, in whose jurisdiction several prime beaches are located, has called an extraordinary meeting to pass a resolution to ban Goamiles cabs from its jurisdiction.

Goamiles has strongly criticised the move as being illegal and beyond the scope of a village panchayat’s duties.

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“It further points out that this move will affect hundreds of families in the village who are connected with the app-based service and earning a livelihood to support their families,” Nunes said.

The legal terms are clear. Many of the app-based taxi owners and drivers are also part of the village panchayat and the resolution passed by the panchayats will adversely affect their interests, the spokesperson added.  (IANS)