Mumbai may get 50,000 new 3-wheelers, taxis
According to sources, the state transport department is mulling introducing about 50,000 new three wheelers and taxis in Mumbai. 30,000 among them are pegged to be 3 wheelers while the rest 20,000 may be blackyellow taxis and cool cabs. This news comes in even as the recent fare hike of 3 wheelers and taxis has led to a rise in commuters opting for bus transportation. Sources informed that the daily number of passengers boarding the BEST buses for local commutation had swelled by 1.3 lakh or 3.25 percent after the fare hike last month. However, experts reiterated that the recent hike in bus commuters was a temporary phenomena and the significant numbers would soon return to opting 3-wheelers and taxis instead of buses.
Sources highlighted that there was a huge demandsupply mismatch persisting in the city and commuters have been demanding for more 3-wheelers and taxis, especially on feeder routes like local railway stations for some time now. Therefore, most of the newly inducted 3-wheelers may on the shuttle routes, they said. However, it is just not the commuters who have been demanding for an increase in the number of 3-wheelers and taxis. Even the various 3-wheeler and taxi unions have been lobbying with the state transport department to increase the number of public transport vehicles in the city. But some experts believe that 30,000 new 3-wheelers was too small a number to suffice the present need. According to them at least 2 lakh 3-wheelers were required after banning about 40,000 illegal 3-wheelers that are presently running in the city.
Meanwhile, with the latest hike in fares has led to the 3 wheeler drivers opting for a switch directly to electronic meters instead of recalibrating existing mechanical meters as the dead line to switch to the e-metres is pretty near (March-end 2013). Sources say that at the transport department made recalibration of mechanical metres compulsory which has persuaded the drivers to directly go in for the e-metres.