The state has allowed three new cars to be run as taxis and Cool cabs in the city. These include: Maruti-Suzukis Eeco (four and six seaters) for city transport and Xylo and Innova cars for the longer routes.
The state transport department has given its nod to the taxi unions demand of using Eeco cars as black-and-yellow taxis. These cabs can also be used as Cool cabs. The inspection of the vehicle was done by transport officials and Additional Director General (state traffic) Arup Patnaik and it was found to be satisfactory, the transport department order said.
The taxi drivers are facing tough competition from radio cabs and have been forced to do an upgrade. Even the state government has ordered to phase out taxis that are more than 25 years old which has forced taxi drivers to look for options. Also,as per the latest regulation,the new taxis should have electronic meters fitted inside the car.
We have already placed the booking of 100 Eeco cars of which a majority are six-seater CNG cars, said A L Quadros,general secretary,Mumbai Taximens Union.
The commuters,however,would not be charged more even if the new cars have enhanced sitting capacity. We would be mostly running these cabs as per the shared taxi scheme. This can help us get more commuters and on other hand not waste the space of two commuters, he said. Shared taxis are run mostly in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus,Fort,Churchgate,Colaba and Nariman Point areas. The taxi drivers often come under fire for accommodating more than four passengers.
Meanwhile,the state government has also permitted Xylo and Innova cars to be used as Cool cabs on longer routes like the Mumbai-Pune,Mumbai-Nashik routes.