Other States

Goa launches taxis driven by women, for women

Women taxi service by Goa Tourism Development Corporation. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The State-owned Goa Tourism Development Corporation Limited (GTDC) on Thursday launched the women-only tourist taxis in Goa, thus joining the few States in the country to have taxis driven by women, for women passengers.

A fleet of 10 taxis was rolled out, driven by women drivers who are trained in self-defence, soft skills and first-aid. Termed as ‘travel hostesses’, they will also double up as tourist guides to their passengers when needed. The taxi will be restricted to women travellers and their families, said MLA and GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral, at Miramar Residency of GTDC near here on Thursday on the occasion of the launch.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar flagged off the fleet of taxis in the presence of Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar and others.

Mr. Parrikar described the new service as yet another way of government to empower and give opportunities to women for self-employment.

Referring to the fact that these were the taxis which will have electronic fare meters with digital receipt print-outs, Mr. Parrikar declared that the government will soon get into a dialogue with the taxi-owners’ associations to speed up the process of introducing metres for taxi service across the State.

He wanted to eliminate the problem of unscrupulous taxi-operators fleecing the tourists and inviting bad name for the State.

Speaking about the novel taxi service, Mr. Cabral said the drivers are groomed in basic etiquette, personal hygiene and customer relations to ensure a positive experience. The cars will be equipped with GPS monitoring system, which supports a panic alert button that is linked to the 24x7 control room. A detailed study has also been done on route assessment and journey planning for popular routes.

To begin with, ten new air-conditioned taxis will be available to ply to and from the airport, hotels, railway stations and bus terminals and will be stationed at GTDC residencies. The taxi fares will be government approved, and one can avail the service by contacting the call centre on 0832 - 2437437.

The number of taxis will be increased based on demand, said Mr.Cabral. The North Goa tourist taxi owners association (NGTTOA) has opposed the launch of the ‘women taxi services’ by the GTDC.

Mr. Ravindra Vengurlekar, vice-president of the NGTTOA said the rationale behind starting the women taxis is not very clear.

“If these women taxis transport men, then our livelihood will be affected,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 9:14:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/goa-joins-states-with-taxis-driven-by-women-for-women/article6511657.ece

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