In a bid to bring down the pollution level in city, the state transport department is planning to introduce a system that will enable commuters to share a taxi to reach different destinations on the same route.
It may be mentioned that sharing of a taxi, which is now commonly called shuttle taxi, is nothing new in the city and the adjoining districts.
But those run illegally by violating the Motor Vehicles Act and taxi drivers charge excessively to the passengers. Police too take severe action for operating shuttle taxis.
The matter about introducing the mechanism to allow sharing of taxis cropped up in a meeting attended by senior officials of the state transport department a few days ago.
During the preliminary discussion on the matter, the officials have put forward several suggestions to make the mechanism error free so that commuters do not face any inconvenience in availing the facility as and when introduced.
If everything goes as per the discussion, then a mobile phone app will be developed. Using the app, a commuter can easily know the availability status of taxis in the place from where he or she wants to board the vehicle.
At the same time, the app will also help to know whether there are seats available in any taxi on that route.
In case a seat is available, the commuter can book the same using the app and can “share the taxi” to reach his or her destination on the same route.
Citing an example, an official of the state transport department said, “Let us consider that a taxi is taking one or two passengers to Ruby Connector from Park Circus crossing. In between, another passenger at Parama Island checks the app and books two more seats in the same taxi to go somewhere on the same route. First of all the mechanism will help to make more taxis available and most importantly it will help to bring down the level of pollution.”
He said, “If two, though unknown, persons take one taxi instead of two to reach the same destination then of course carbon emission will come down.”
People now face various hazards while travelling in shuttle taxis.
First off all, police take legal actions against taxi owners for operating the vehicles by violating norms.
Secondly, drivers demand a high fare from each of the persons sharing the taxi. Moreover, there is no security of a passenger while travelling in a shuttle taxi as they take more than five passengers and even six sometime in each trip.
But once the app is in place, the commuters will no more have to face such inconvenience as they will book the seats using the app and it makes the journey a safer one.
At the same time, details of the people sharing a taxi will be in the data base as they need to book using the app.
Thus, no one will remain untraced if commits any crime while travelling.
“All legal aspects will be under consideration before taking the final decision in this regard. It is in a very nascent stage. Talks with big players in the field will also be held,” the official said.