Trial run being held to fix fares
The city's second pre-paid autorickshaw stand, jointly operated by the Corporation and city traffic police, is all set to open at Medical College Junction on September 5.
The pre-paid counter, coming near the TRIDA complex at Medical College, is mainly aimed at providing autorikshaw services at fair rates to patients and visitors to the Medical College hospital complex.
The trial run of autos for fixing the fare to various destinations from Medical College Junction was held on Saturday.
Representatives of auto drivers' union and traffic police jointly conducted the trial run, which will continue on Sunday.
“Once we complete the trial run, we will be able to fix the rates to different destinations based on the rate fixed by the government. This rate will then be fed into the software for issuing computerised token from the pre-paid counter,'' said P. Rajan, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic (South).
While the Corporation will be providing the basic infrastructure, including the computer and counter facility, the operation of the counter will be jointly monitored by the civic body and the traffic police. The traffic police will also be preparing a list of auto drivers who will operate from the stand.
More than 25 autos can be parked at a time at the auto stand adjoining the pre-paid counter.
“After getting the proposal on fares from the traffic police, it will be discussed at the Traffic Advisory Committee to be held on August 29. Following this, we will be able to start the counter by September 5,'' said Corporation secretary K. Biju.
Plan for more counters
Mayor K. Chandrika said a similar pre-paid auto stand is also being planned near the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) building. “Our first idea was to open a counter on the Medical College campus, but it could not be realised due to lack of space. So we identified the land near the TRIDA complex. If we get land at the RCC, we can start a similar pre-paid auto counter there also,'' she said.
Ms. Chandrika said the Corporation Traffic Advisory Committee also had plans to open pre-paid autorikshaw counters at General Hospital Junction, Thampanoor KSRTC Bus Stand and at Pettah for the benefit of passengers getting down at the Pettah Railway station. As of now the city has only one pre-paid auto stand at Thampanoor Railway Station.
ID cards for drivers
Meanwhile, a project to provide identity cards to auto drivers in the city is also in the pipeline. Around 40,000 auto drivers will be provided with photo ID cards as part of the project. “The ID card project will ensure better safety, both for the passengers and auto drivers. Once it is made compulsory, it will help in curbing the operation of auto drivers from outside the city and also in addressing issues like overcharging,'' Mr. Rajan said.