Actress Manju Warrier will be the goodwill ambassador for the ‘Shetaxi’ service that will launched in the city next week.
Ms. Warrier, according to a press release, had volunteered to support the State government-backed initiative of the Gender Park, an institution set up by the Department of Social Justice. The Shetaxis, owned and driven by women entrepreneurs, will roll out as part of a pilot project in the State capital on November 19.
“As someone who has had first-hand experience of the difficulties and worries of travelling in unfamiliar cities at odd hours, I know how important a service of this kind will be to women. I’m sure this is an idea that will catch on quick,” she said in a statement here.
“I also respect the women who have come forward to operate these taxis, given the challenges they are expected to face in a male-dominated business,” she said.
The Shetaxis, meanwhile, once fully operational will be a 24X7 service available for booking via mobile phones and for online booking as well.
Women travelling alone or with families will be able to dial a toll-free number connecting to a customer care centre.
They will then be given a Unique Identification Code and the vehicle number on their mobile phones.
All the cabs that operate as part of the service will be metered and will have an electronic payment system allowing the user to pay using credit or debit cards or cash. The Shetaxis will come with multiple security systems for the safety of the drivers as well as the passengers.
While a control room will track the taxis in real-time using GPS, there will be personal emergency alert switches for drivers and passengers inside the car apart from a similar safety alert application installed on the mobile phones of the women drivers.
The cars will have a map of all emergency response systems in the city and public safety officers will be available for their assistance.
The women drivers will also be given training in self-defence as well as good driving practices. The Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation, Maruti Suzuki Ltd and Technopark-based Rain Concert Technologies are associates in the project, according to the press release.
Shetaxis will be a 24X7 service available for booking via mobile phones and online.