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Taxis offer new ‘apps’ for women’s security in Mumbai

With rape a constant threat hovering over women,taxi's are looking to provide safety and rev up biz.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 17, 2014 12:10:48 pm

With increasing concern over women’s safety in metropolitan cities,fleet taxi services have started offering several ‘applications’ to make them and their families feel secure.

These applications include features such as tracking cab movement on request of the commuter,sending regular updates to a family member of the commuter or having dedicated services for women after dark.

For instance,Meru Cabs,which has a fleet of about 1,500 vehicles in Mumbai,has launched an SMS-based trip tracker service.

This service enables women commuters to arrange for a designated person or a family member receive SMS alerts about the location of the taxi and journey every 15 minutes.

“This will ensure a sense of safety and assurance for the lady passenger. This is an opt-in service and free of charge for all Meru customers,” a company spokesperson said.

Commuters can opt for the service at the time of booking by giving the phone number on which alerts have to be sent.

The alternate number is stored in user’s personal account and the commuter can choose to activate it or deactivate it at any point of time through the company call centre or website.

Similarly,TabCab,which has a fleet of 1,850 cars on the road,gives all senior citizens,women and children the option of having their cab tracked through the entire journey.

Accordingly,a special cell in the TabCab call centre,keeps an eye on the route of the taxi on a real-time basis and calls the customer at the end of the journey to ensure the passenger has reached safely.

“Apart from this,there is also an alarm system in the car,which goes off immediately and alerts the call centre if the car is straying. Once we strengthen our fleet,we also plan to have a certain percentage of our fleet reserved for women in certain office areas of the city,” said Prasenjeet Bagchi,chief marketing officer of TabCab.

Easy Cabs,another fleet taxi service with a fleet of 500 vehicles,has set up a dedicated desk inside its call centre for women.

A spokesperson of the company said for all calls that come after 7 pm,the call centre first ascertains commuter’s gender and directs women passengers to the dedicated desk.

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