After years of debate over app-based cab service in Goa, the state government has finally come up with a solution to solve the long-running pain point of tourist as well as taxi drivers.
State chief minister Manohar Parrikar who launched GoaMiles, an app-enabled cab hailing service like Ola and Uber, said that the requirement of a taxi will increase two to three times as will the income of the drivers registered under it.
Currently, the tourist taxi operators run their businesses individually in Goa. As of now, Ola and Uber have not been allowed to enter the coastal state due to regulatory norms.
GoaMiles claims to be the first such app launched by any state government in India.
Earlier, app-based taxi service such as HDK-owned Namma Tygr in Bengaluru, S3 Cabs in Mumbai and Seva cabs in Delhi had tried the same service. Even Goa had witnessed Taxigo providing ride-hailing service in the past but it failed to make a dent.
Meanwhile, other experiments across aforementioned cities (except Goa) have been unable to take-off against deep-pocketed giants – Ola and Uber.
While the taxis will charge government approved rates, issues such as overcharging and availability of taxis will also be solved by GoaMiles app, said the minister, as per the TOI report.
To register a taxi under GoaMiles app, taxi/cab owners need to register their vehicle at with the state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC). The registration charges is free and GTDC’s charges would be recovered from the consumer in the range of Rs 20-80 as a service fee.
Entrackr had tried to book a cab through GoaMiles app and found that it works in similar fashion as cab hailing majors such as Ola and Uber’s apps. However, a customer is only allowed to book a cab after adding a minimum balance of Rs 200 in its e-wallet.
Comparing to fare charges it looks to be affordable over private taxis.
According to the state tourism minister, the service will give a security to customers and GoaMiles app received a good response with 120 taxi bookings and 350 registration just after the launch.
The figure is however too low as compared to the big players. According to GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral, around 3000 taxi owners had approached the office but only 300 were registered.
Importantly, the state has over 25,000 registered vehicles and GoaMiles would be looking to reach out to as many vehicle partners as they can.
Meanwhile, some taxi unions have opposed the launch saying that running a taxi counter at the airport in the garb of an app-based service is illegal. It also added that these taxi drivers have been threatened by the government official to join the app or face legal case.