February 12, 2020 3:21:11 pm
Travellers arriving by train in Kerala can now rent self-drive cars directly from railway station premises, thanks to a facility launched by the Southern Railways. The pilot phase of the ‘rent-a-car’ facility began Wednesday with four railway stations – Thiruvananthapuram Central, Ernakulam Town, Ernakulam Junction, and Thrissur – adopted initially.
If the project turns out to be a success, it may get expanded to other railway stations in the state.
Rajesh Chandran, IRTS, Sr Divisional Commercial Manager of Thiruvananthapuram division and Ajay Kaushik, IRTS, station director of the Thiruvananthapuram Central station, flagged off the first service at the station at 11 am Wednesday.
The facility will be run by IndusGo Pvt Ltd, a sister concern of Indus Motors, one of the top Maruti dealerships in the country. Customers can make online bookings and payments on the company website or contact officials directly at the railway station to make a booking.
There are both fuel and non-fuel packages and the fleet comprises of everything from hatchbacks, sedans to SUVs. After use, the cars can be dropped off at the railway station itself or at select designated spots in the cities.
“This is part of providing additional facilities to passengers. We are constantly thinking of new ideas to improve spaces and provide services. This is a part of it. Right now, it’s at four stations,” said a railway official.
IndusGo officials said customers with pre-authorized credit cards have the option to skip the security deposit on the car. For others, a refundable deposit of Rs 5000 will apply. The hourly rent tariff is Rs 60/hr in the minimum slab of five hours. The minimum rent for a day is Rs 1000. For those opting for longer periods of rent, packages including fuel are available.
“We currently have rental services in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Thrissur in Kerala. We also have services in Chennai. Our fleet in India is around 300 vehicles,” said Simon Roger, marketing manager with IndusGo.
“We will have five vehicles on standby at each of the railway station parking lots at a time,” he said.
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