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Fear of cab shortage ups New Year’s eve bookings

With six radio taxi operators banned, cab service providers expect a rise in new year's booking.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi |
Updated: December 31, 2014 2:50:29 am
taxi-l For fear of cab shortage on December 31, many have made bookings in advance.


With the Delhi government banning all but six licenced radio taxi operators in the city, cab service providers are preparing for an unexpected rise in bookings on New Year’s eve.

The ban came after a passenger was allegedly raped in an Uber taxi by the driver. But, it has become a cause of concern for those who use taxis to get around during New Year celebrations.

For fear of cab shortage on December 31, many have made bookings in advance. Representatives of several companies said advance bookings opened three months in advance and most cab companies saw a 100 percent booking rate.

“While our airport to city transfer bookings have seen a slump this year, bookings for inter-city transfers between Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon have gone up,” Binod Mishra, executive director of Mega cabs, said.
Asked if bookings for different operators had seen a sudden rise after the ban, Mishra said the ban “seemed to be only on paper”.

“Frankly, all other cab companies, barring Uber, are still operating, and even the mobile applications are running. But to ensure there is no shortage, we will park our cabs near malls in Gurgaon and restaurants and pubs in Delhi. Since the airport bookings are down, we can provide more services within the city,” he said.

Several companies are providing discounts — from 30-50 per cent — on December 31 bookings.

Meanwhile, small and economical taxi associations too expect to be “flooded with bookings”.

Satish Singh, a driver with Genie cab, an economical cab service under Meru cabs, said, “I took leave on December 30, because New Year’s eve will be busy. The company notified that no one should take leave.”

Drivers enrolled with multiple companies said they will be “switching on applications” according to the demand. Ramesh Kumar, a driver with Mega, Ola and Taxiforsure, said, “Bookings have been made for all companies, but those for Taxiforsure are high because of discounts. I will be juggling between applications.”

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