A tussle between an app-based taxi service and local taxi service in Goa seem to continue with both the agencies not able to come to a consensus on the area they can operate. On Monday, a meeting between the agencies was presided over by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, but both parties emerged dissatisfied.
In Goa, taxis form the backbone of transport for tourists. A demand for app-based services has met with protests from taxi unions even as civil society and tourists have complained of the high fares and irregular and unregulated service.
“There are a few issues that need to be addressed. They don’t want GoaMiles to pick up customers from the airport, railway stations and hotel location otherwise they don’t have a problem. GoaMiles is beneficial and it will remain operational,” Sawant said.
Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, who was also present at the meeting, said the issue will be resolved in the next few days.
“The CM has already taken a decision that no app-based taxi should ferry customers as the yellow and black taxi associations are paying Rs 8 lakh to the Railways as charges. At hotels, too, they wait for their turn,” Lobo said.
Chetan Kamat, the president of the All Goa Taxi Owners Association, was not happy with the meeting. “We do not want app-based cab aggregators at all. We are completely opposed to this. We are requesting the CM that GoaMiles and cab aggregators should be scrapped.
“Before the Assembly, he should tell us what his decision is,” Kamat added.
The taxi union has been putting pressure on the ground and has also had instances where they have attacked the app-based services.
GoaMiles is the sole app-based taxi service that is operating on a PPP basis on behalf of the state Tourism Department. No government has further succeeded in getting taxis to operate on a meter and the fares are largely unregulated across the state.