Mumbai: More share auto-taxi stands to come up to beat cash crunch

These stands will be outside railway and Metro stations, and near commercial hubs to ease the burden on commuters after demonetisation

Bandra station has stands for regular fare autos and share rickshaws as well
Bandra station has stands for regular fare autos and share rickshaws as well

Short on change to pay for an auto or cab? Soon, you’ll be able to share your trip and the cost, with the Transport department now planning to introduce additional share auto rickshaw and taxi stands across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

The decision was taken during a meeting held by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) yesterday, as top transport and RTO officials discussed how to ease the burden on commuters following the shock ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The availability of Rs 100 notes has drastically dropped, and even auto and taxi unions have confirmed that at least 15-20 per cent of the black-and-yellow vehicles have gone off city roads due to the restricted flow of money and the queues at fuel stations.

The authorities have now decided to introduce at least 30 new share auto-taxi stands across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

“Under the present situation, after the currency withdrawal, people prefer to take share autos and taxis, so a decision was made to increase their numbers,” said an RTO official.

Official speak
“We are looking forward to introducing more share rickshaw stands, especially near Metro stations, as well as share taxi stands in commercial and office hubs,” said Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam.

At present, there are a few share auto stands outside Metro stations, but these are far and few in between. Of the 12 Metro stations on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor, barely two or three have share auto stands. Sources said that they would decide the need for more share stands based on the footfall at each station.

There are many offices, commercial complexes, restaurants and hotels and even residential areas near these Metro stations. Once these stands are legalised, the authorities will also control the fares and passenger load.

Better regulation
At present, the drivers demand anywhere between Rs 10-20 at the Metro stations, and between R15-30 from railway stations, depending on the time of day and crowd outside. The authorities also took note that passengers are often packed into the vehicles way beyond the maximum limit. For instance in autos, the driver often refuses to move unless six passengers are crammed inside.

In addition, the Transport department has also pushed for at least 12 new share taxi routes in the island city. This may include cabs on feeder routes outside Elphinstone Road, Lower Parel, Byculla, Grant Road, Currey Road, Churchgate and CST.

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