Last week, Goa saw all the taxi operators in the state go on strike. They felt that their demands to the government were going unheard. Additionally, they were also protesting the installation of speed governors in their vehicles and the introduction of meters as well. about two years ago, they also went on strike to protest the entry of the Ola taxi services into the state. But all this has not deterred one smart businessman in Panaji who has introduced Taxigo City, Goa’s newest taxi service.
Goa’s newest taxi service
Raghu Shetye, a businessman based out of Panaji introduced Taxigo City, an affordable online taxi service approximately 3 months ago. A taxi service similar to that of Ola and Uber, it has gained quite a bit of popularity since it was launched. Taxigo City’s fleet has risen from ten taxis at the start to 100 taxis now.
“I have received overwhelming support. People are sharing information about our services. People have started using our services for their day-to-day activities and many corporate companies have approached us asking us to provide our taxi service,” said Shetye.
“The demand is increasing day by day. Around 100 taxis are associated with us and approximately 150 families are dependent on ‘Taxigo City’ including drivers, owners, tourist agents and travel agents,” he further added.
Shetye didn’t like what was happening to Goa thanks to the attitude of the taxi operators. Out this was born a desire to start Taxigo City service. “My policy has remained the same. I have not bought taxis on my own and have kept inducting our local taxi operators and owners in this service. I want to give employment opportunity to local taxi drivers and share the income with their owners. My goal is to provide taxi service to people at affordable prices,” he said.
The launch of Taxigo City in Goa
The service was launched in October 2017. The basic plan is for Rs 199 where tourists and even locals can use the taxi service. This plan covers a 45-minute drive for a distance of 9 kilometres after which an additional Rs. 20 is applicable for every additional kilometre. The fare price has remained unchanged since then.
Shetye too suffered losses during the days when taxi unions went on strike, as his taxis were also not allowed to operate.
“I have spoken to the taxi union leaders and urged them to start similar services. I am ready to help in acquiring technology and software. I urge more taxi operators to join me and I promise that our dealings will be transparent. If a taxi driver works for 8-10 hours a day, he can make a minimum of Rs 2,000 per day,” he said.
How Taxigo City works right now
Currently, services are operational only during the day. The firm is awaiting government approval for an app that they are building.
He said that as soon as the government approves the application, he will conduct an awareness programme for the drivers about the GPS technology and the behavioural classes and the safety aspect of the driver and the passengers.
There are also plans to run the taxi service at night. For now, you can use the service in Panaji and Margao only. Shetye says that they will start in Vasco shortly followed by other parts of the state.
To use the taxi service, people can visit the website – http://www.taxigo.co.in.
Let us hope that this system works out better for everyone and that we can also welcome Uber and Ola into the state. It would definitely be better than being held at ransom everytime the local taxi mafia decides to make demands and go on strike to have these met.
Information credit – The Navhind Times