Kochi

AuSa to bring much needed relief to auto drivers

AuSa is a hiring app for auto-rickshaws in the Greater Kochi region.  

There is light at the end of the tunnel for autorickshaw drivers in the Greater Kochi area, amid a pall of gloom caused by a steep fall in demand for public transport, thanks to the impending launch of AuSa, an autorickshaw-ride-booking app.

It will be more than a ride-booking app and will be launched this year itself. The app will change the face of autorickshaw operations in the region. The public image of drivers too will improve, since the fare will be fixed, just like for online taxi cars. Over the years, a section of drivers who fleeced passengers and often refused to operate trips had brought a bad name for the sector, said Binu Varghese, secretary, Autorickshaw Drivers Union (AITUC).

“Already, the foray of e-autos in the city hub has been well accepted by passengers, since the fare is ₹10 for 2 km. The app will further bring in accountability while offering a safer ride for commuters. It will be a win-win for passengers and drivers who now have to wait for long at stands to get passengers. Kochi Metro Rail Limited [KMRL] provided the initial support for the venture, while personnel of Technovia Info Solutions readied the platform for us. Promotional videos of the venture will shortly be launched,” he added.

The Ernakulam Jilla Autorickshaw Drivers Cooperative Society, a conclave of half-a-dozen autorickshaw driver unions, which have a total membership of 25,000, bore the expenses of the initiative, while drivers who avail the app will have to bear a nominal expense. The revenue model is being finalised, including the possibility of garnering alternative revenue, sources said.

The mobile application will shortly be available in Google Playstore for downloading. A few hundred drivers have already been trained in the app, using which autos will initially operate in and around the 25-km Kochi metro route from Aluva to Pettah. The app will be extended to other areas once passengers and drivers become familiar with it. In the long run, it could also be used to enable ferrying of merchandise from shops to houses in the vicinity, thus enabling door delivery of provisions and other household goods, they added.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:29:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ausa-to-bring-much-needed-relief-to-auto-drivers/article32923283.ece

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