Flyers will be able to book a taxi from international airport to city following a high court order that permits MPTOA to start service
There is some respite for passengers to international destinations in the city who have to make the over 150 km-long journey to Mumbai to board major flights. Following a Bombay High Court order, the state government will start a permanent taxi service from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) to the city.
This is expected to make travelling back to the city simple, without the fear of getting fleeced by unscrupulous taxi drivers. The service will be operated by the Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners Association (MPTOA), and the government will provide the space to park the cabs as per court directions.
The plan was stuck with the government since the past year, as the MPTOA had to get clearances from airport authorities and other security agencies. Currently, air travellers have to walk to the open parking area of CSIA to hire cabs. Although the cool cab service is operational from CSIA, the heavy rush coupled with the laborious walk to the parking area is problematic.
The MPTOA has taxi stands at the Pune Station bus depot and in Dadar, Mumbai. While the rates from Dadar to Pune for AC and non-AC taxis are Rs 380 and Rs 320 respectively, the rate from the city to CSIA is Rs 1,920.
In addition, Rs 100 extra is levied for a home pickup, depending upon the distance of the pickup point from the stand. For instance, Rs 100 would be charged for a pickup from Camp; a pickup from Vimanagar would cost an additional Rs 200. About 2,000 passengers regularly travel to CSIA from the city.
Shankar Shetty, MPTOA secretary, said the court had given the state government three-weeks' time to start the service. "The space would be provided by the government, and the rates would also be decided by it. People coming out of the arrivals can directly book a taxi at a dedicated counter," he said.