Dial a Cab [the Best One]

Consumer Voice - - Contents - SubasTi­wari and Gopal Ravi Ku­mar

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.

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