Dial a Cab [the Best One]
NCR’s Eight Radio Taxis Scanned
TOld taxis with analogue meters are clearly on their way out. And for good. The ‘in’ thing now is the convenient, comfortable and safer radio cab. Those loud shouts, long waits and bargain sessions are all replaced by hassle-free [more or less] booking on the phone – the cab is at your doorstep and you pay only for the distance you travel or the time you spend with the cab. Of course, there are service differentiators such as booking options, average time to reach pickup point, safety measures and standard charges, and it is in these terms that Team CV studied, surveyed and graded eight popular cab service providers in the national capital region.
axi! Once upon a time, this loud call asking the driver of a black-and-yellow taxi was quite common. The call was ignored by all on the sidewalks, but not the drivers of Ambassadors (Ambi) and Fiat Padminis who would immediately bring the car to a halt, slip in to the left side to turn on the meter, and drive you to your destination. Even if you haven’t moved around much in a city, you must have seen many sari-clad heroines calling for taxis in their loudest pitch, mostly after a tiff with the hero in a restaurant or in his car, in some Hindi movie
While you still find the black-and-yellow ones (now with green stripe indicating they run on CNG), you hardly see anybody calling taxi aloud. In Mumbai too, the presence of Padmini taxis on the road is fading and Kolkata will not see any more increase in
A City of Cabs
the fleet of its popular Ambassador taxis either, as the only plant (in West Bengal) that produced the car has downed its shutters.
At present, the national capital region alone has over a dozen radio cab operators and some of them are owned by large companies having operations in many cities and a fleet of hundreds of cars. The competition among them is intense and each one of them is trying to attract commuters.
Yet, not all radio cabs are providing the same quality of service. Team CV formulated parameters to compare the major cab operators, sent them questionnaires, and also gathered information from end users. The information collected was quantified and equated, and grading of eight popular cab service providers was done accordingly.