Drivers say state govt promised them hike in base fare, provided newly registered cabs comprise 2/3rd of fleet

In a bid to make a stronger appeal to justify their demand for hiking the minimum fare of taxis in the city, Mumbai Taximen's Union (MTU), headed by AL Quadros, met with RTO officials yesterday.

The meeting was to check  on the progress of the RTI plea by MTU, filed in September, seeking statistics on the newer models of black and yellow taxis.

The taxi union claims that if the number of these newer model taxis -- Wagon R, Santro, Omni and Alto -- are more in number than the old Premier Padminis, then they are justified in asking the state government for a hike in base fares.

The promise
"The government had promised us a hike in fares, if the newly registered models comprise two-thirds of the total fleet. Presently, we have approximate figures and want to get the right figures. Hence we filed an RTI," said A L Quadros, general secretary, MTU.

According to the MTU, presently, the total number of taxis is 42,000 in the city, out of which 20,000 odd are new models. But they are unsure of the exact figure.

On par
Ever since the auto rickshaw unions demanded a hike and got one, the taxi unions too, have been pitching for identical demands. The minimum fare of black and yellow taxis is Rs 16; they are demanding a hike of Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 on the minimum tariff.

Meanwhile, the union leader also argued that maintenance of the newer model of taxis is a costly affair. Frequent visits to garages have increased, apart from the rise in cost of spare parts.