Online taxi

Launch of the country’s first government-owned online taxi service in Kerala

The Kerala government has rolled out ‘Kerala Savaari’, a government-owned online taxi service, the first such initiative by a state government in the country.

A promotion of ‘Kerala Savaari’, a Kerala government initiative to roll out a government-owned online taxi service (Picture: India Today)

STRONG POINTS

  • The Kerala government has rolled out a government-owned online taxi service, the first initiative of its kind in India
  • ‘Kerala Savaari’ will only charge 8% service charge
  • The app also has a “panic button” which can be used in case of emergency

The government of Kerala is ready to compete in the online taxi services industry where only multinationals rule. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday inaugurated ‘Kerala Savaari’, the country’s first government-owned online automated taxi service in Thiruvananthapuram.

”Kerala Savaari is a project designed and implemented by the Department of Labor to ensure an untapped source of income for autoworkers at a time when neo-liberalization policies are very negatively affecting our traditional labor sectors and workers,” Labor Minister V dit Shivankutty said.

“The project will be implemented in Thiruvananthapuram municipality on a pilot basis. It will be implemented statewide in phases,” the minister added.

PANIC BUTTON SYSTEM

Security is another specialty of Kerala Savaari. Each driver must have a criminal record certificate. Kerala Savaari app will have panic button system to help you in case of emergency. The driver or passenger can press this button without making themselves known. This will help in obtaining the services of the relevant enforcement agencies more quickly.

Currently, there is a 20-30% difference between fares collected by autoworkers and fares charged to passengers by online taxi service providers. Workers are forced to continue with a loss.

The seasonal change in fares is a feat of online taxi services. But, in Kerala Savaari, there will be only one tariff. A service fee of only eight percent will be charged, which will make it cheaper than other online taxi services.

The amount collected as a service fee along with the rate set by the government will be used for the implementation of the program and to provide promotional incentives to passengers and drivers, etc.

READ ALSO | Migrant worker kills 60-year-old woman in Thiruvananthapuram and dumps her body in a well

GPS TO INSTALL

In the coming months, there are also plans to install a Global Positioning System (GPS) in all taxi vehicles at a subsidized rate. A 24-hour call center will also be part of this. Special training was provided to 500 car taxi drivers in Thiruvananthapuram Municipality. The training program also aims to turn drivers into tourist guides.

The granting of a discount on oil, vehicle insurance, tires and vehicle battery, which is part of the program, is under consideration. Insurance for passengers and drivers and accident insurance are also under consideration. There is another plan to generate more revenue by advertising the vehicles. 60% of advertising revenue will be donated to drivers.

— ENDS —