The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries has taken initiative to introduce a mobile app to help commuters get information on the availability of taxis in a particular area. The plan has been initiated to create an e-platform for the traditional yellow taxis when operators like Uber and Ola are getting commuters through respective cell phone apps.
The State Transport department had a discussion with the official of the chamber in this regard a few months ago and the latter had already made a road map to introduce the system within the next three months, if everything goes as planned. Senior officials of the Transport Department including transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, members of the chamber, senior officers of the Kolkata Police and representatives of Bengal Taxi Association attended a session on Friday to discuss the progress of the work on the development of the app.
Once the app is in place, a commuter can easily get information about taxis available in a particular area and at the same time the app will enable a person to get a taxi. Now most of the taxi drivers have smart phones. So they can also easily know whether any person is in search of a taxi and can easily reach to the place within the least time required.
Neither the transport department nor the taxi operators have to invest for introduction of the app.
The chamber have already completed the preliminary work following discussions with IT companies experts in developing such apps and necessary changes and addition to the app will be done based on the proposals that have come up in Friday’s session.
As the app will enable in storing certain data, it will be helpful for the police or any other investigating agency for the sake of investigation of any case.
The app will enable identification of the route through which a taxi will take a passenger to a particular destination.
A two member committee has also been formed for proper implementation of the project.
Bimal Guha, general secretary of Bengal Taxi Association, said: “It is good that such an initiative has been taken up but right now we are not calling off the taxi strike that is scheduled to take place on 10 march.
Meanwhile, following recommendation of the World Bank and Korea Government the Calcutta State Transport Corporation has decided to adopt open data policy.
It will enable experts, mainly the startup companies, to develop apps using the data which in turn help bridge the gap between commuters and information related to bus services in the city.