Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Now hire an autorickshaw by making a call

Now hire an autorickshaw by making a call

'Easy autos' may prove to be a good initiative as drivers vow to follow rules to make travel a pleasant experience for commuters

Shwetha S

Here is good news for regular users of autorickshaws. After 'easy cabs,' comes a new 'easy auto' service. The assurance is that you will not be charged fares in excess of those fixed; and if you have a complaint, you can register it over the phone too.
This service opened to the public recently, and 100 such autos are already on Bangalore's roads; 250 auto drivers have been recruited for the service. The 'easy autos' are almost as comfortable as cabs. They come equipped with a Global Positioning System, LCD screens on which you can view films, a first-aid kit, radio and even a magazine and newspaper stand.
Managing director of 'easy auto,' Padmashree Harish said, "We are receiving a great response from the public. Our call centres have been receiving nearly 150 calls, and this makes us think that we should increase the number of autos soon."
Drivers of the easy autos undergo training, so that they are pleasant with commuters.
"In the past few months, there have been isolated instances of misbehaviour by auto drivers, and this has tarnished all drivers with the same brush. We are trying to restore confidence in auto drivers by changing the way in which the whole system works, making it a pleasant experience for the city's commuters," said Harish.
About 60 auto drivers took an oath on Monday that they would not cause any discomfort to those hiring their services: "We are aware of our duties and responsibilities as citizens. We pledge to abide by the rules without violating any laws or regulations, so that our commuters are not inconvenienced."
Bhaskar Rao, state transport commissioner said, "This is a very good initiative. It is nice that 'easy auto' has begun. This type of intervention will go some way in the betterment of the city's transport system. It would be good if every auto driver believes in maintaining a good relationship with the customer. The state transport department is planning to set up a separate registration authority only for autos — and the system can be centralised. This way, we will be able to keep all the details about city autos updated. And we will also be able to track all autos running in the city. As things are, we have no record of how many autos in the city might be old ones, causing unacceptably high pollution."
Rao hoped that a more efficient auto network would help reduce the numbers of vehicles being added on the roads. Citing the phenomenal increase in vehicles on city roads, Rao said that annually, Bangalore sees a 17% increase in two-wheelers, 12% increase in cars, and 10% increase in city cabs.
The state transport department has been mulling over the introduction of uniformity in the fares of cabs. This is likely to reduce the fares for cabs. As the numbers of cabs on city roads too are set to rise, the authority is concerned that commuters are not burdened by exorbitant fares.


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