Radio taxis absolutely safe, says association

Mumbai : Stung by the nationwide adverse publicity radio taxi services have received following the Delhi rape incident, the Radio Taxi Association of India (RTAI) Tuesday said that their services are “safe, trustworthy and reliable”.

RTAI president Kunal Lalani expressed grief over the Delhi incident and reiterated the members’ commitment to adhere to rules and guidelines as per law, and assured that all passengers, including women, would be provided safe services by the licensed operators.

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The RTAI, which represents all the licensed radio taxi operators across India, flayed the practices by certain operators like Uber, Ola and Taxi For Sure, which follow an aggregation model and operate without acquiring proper licenses from the concerned state transport authorities.

“They violate the laws and rules governing this industry, resulting in such heinous crimes taking place and bringing a bad name to the entire industry,” Lalani told media persons.

He claimed that all RTAI members, including Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs, Meru Cabs, Gee Cabs, Chanson Cabs, Yo-Cabs, Sky Cab, RBTS, Fab Cab, Star Cab, have confirmed that they follow all the rules and guidelines by their respective state transport departments.

These include verification of the drivers, GPRS tracking of all taxis, drivers training for servicing various customer profiles, etc., Lalani said and added that in the past eight years, they have delivered satisfactory service to customers.

All the major licenced radio taxi operators from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore, Punjab and other cities were present at the media gathering.

Lalani said that all radio taxi operators have to set up a call centre and ensure that each vehicle is equipped with GPS/GPRS tracking devices which must be in constant link with the Central Control Unit while on duty, each vehicle must display the photograph of the driver and his licence particulars on the dashboard, he must have a valid licence, and his complete background verification must have been carried out.

Lalani said the RTAI has been requesting various state governments to remove the restrictive clauses in the Radio Taxi Schemes pertaining to tariff controls, geographical restrictions and the requirement that the taxi companies own the vehicles.

“These have negatively impacted the feasibility of the taxi operations and also the growth of licensed taxi fleets. Some government have responded positively to our concerns, but others have yet to respond. We believe this would help the industry improve the fleet availability and support the drivers engaged in the industry,” he said.