Cool cabs become 'uncool'

May 23, 2014, 06:20 IST | Dheeraj Bengrut

Passengers say filthy cabs, faulty AC system, delays in arrival and rookie drivers ensure that the service is no longer value for money

The cool cab services in the city no longer seem to be ‘cool’. Commuter anger over the alleged poor service being provided is increasing with each passing day.

mid-day spoke to a few people, who travel via cool cabs frequently, to find out whether the service being provided to them has been efficient and worth their money.

Not meeting expectations: More and more commuters are grumbling about the poor services offered by cool cab service providers, be it private or regular. Pics/Mohan Patil

Firsthand experience
Aditya Bhide, a resident of Sinhagad Road, often travels via cool cabs to various parts of the city. Narrating his experiences, Bhide said, “The drivers are always late by 15 to 20 minutes. We pay more to get good service and travel comfortably, but that does not happen. Problems like filthy cars and defunct air-conditioning system are common.”

Hadapsar resident Vipul Alekar said, “Travelling in cool cabs has been among my worst commuting experiences. A few days ago, I booked a cab from Hadapsar to the airport. I had to catch a flight for Delhi around 6 pm, and booked the cab for 3.30 pm. But the driver reached the pick up point around 4.30 pm. To make matters worse, he turned out to be a rookie. I had to guide him towards the airport."

The other side

Arun Kharat, owner of Wings Radio Cabs services, said, “It isn’t easy to operate a cool cab service in a city like Pune. We get around 3,000 calls daily. We have a fleet of around 600 cabs. So, to keep a track of all the calls and provide
on-time service is a bit difficult. We agree that a few of our cabs get delayed at times and we fine our drivers for the same. But customers must keep in mind that traffic jams can cause delays. Despite all these problems, our punctuality rate is 97 per cent. We try our best to give every customer the best service possible.”

RTO speak
On several occasions, these cool cab drivers are spotted talking on their cellphones while driving. We are certainly going to take up this issue and a special drive will be soon be undertaken to check these cabs. We appeal to people to submit  complaints or suggestions regarding cool cab services to us so that we can take appropriate action.
— Anil Valiv, Pune deputy regional transport officer   

Fact file
>> There are six cool cab service providers in the city, with approximately 2,000 vehicles
>> While the tariff varies from one service provider to another, the average rate per kilometre is between R14 and R17
>> Cool cab services are mostly taken to and from the airport/railway station and various parts of the city

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