On-call rickshaw services yet to pick up
In what could be a solution to the woes of innumerable commuters who struggle to get rickshaws during peak hours, the on-call round-the-clock auto services in the city have not been utilised to the fullest.
At your service: To make on-call auto services a success, agencies are looking forward to hire more female drivers and team up with rickshaw drivers' associations. Representation Pic
Yogesh Deshmukh who started a rickshaw on call service admits that even though he launched this venture two months ago, it has not yet gained popularity. He said, “If you reside in Pune, you will be familiar with the rickshaw struggles one has to go through to get an auto and that too one operating on meter basis. Rickshaws are the preferred mode of transport for many, but finding one during peak hours can be difficult. So now one can book an auto by calling 8600000024, which is open 24x7.”
At present there are around 100 rickshaws attached with this service, out of which 35 are equipped with tower tracking systems for faster processing, Deshmukh said. They receive around 50-60 calls per day from all areas in the city. “We want to expand the services to the outskirts of the city and also want to start female driver services and night services more effectively to help passengers,” added Deshmukh.
Deshmukh concluded saying, “We want the rickshaw drivers’ associations to approach us so that more rickshaws can join the wagon and benefit the passengers.”
A manager from Autowale, which also runs a 24x7 on-call auto service in the city said, “The response is good in most areas. We get maximum calls from women and senior citizens.”
Deputy RTO Anil Valiv said, “These services can be used during emergencies when the person is not in a condition to drive his vehicle. It is also useful to citizens during medical urgencies. These services are affordable as compared to taxis, so can be used by middle-class people also.
Samir Joshi (72) said, “I have used this service once and liked it. Every month when I go to collect my pension I have a problem getting a rick, as no one is ready to come to my area from the bank and vice versa. But, now I can go any time to any place, and that too at a reasonable rate. Sneha Joshi, a lawyer, said, “This service is beneficial to people like me who use public transport as I always have a problem in getting a rick to to places.