How long Will GoaMiles Survive? The Taxi Operators Started Falling Apart

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It looks like, all is not well with the GoaMiles, the first App-based taxi service in Goa launched by Goa Tourism in partnership with the Pune Based private company. One week after the App was launched, the taxi operators from Vasco decided to part ways with it saying that the GoaMiles had cheated them, what the GoaMiles owners have to say here? Let’s take a look at the detailed report below.  

Hardly a week passed for the launch of Goa’s first App-based taxi service and 90 taxi operators from Vasco area decided to discontinue the services stating that they had been cheated by the App company. According to the Taxi operators, the Goa Tourism had assured them of a separate counter at the Airport and that they were not aware of getting included in the App.

Meanwhile, demanding for a separate hike in the fare, several taxi operators who registered themselves with GOAMILES have threatened the government to withdraw from the app because “the promise of providing counter at the Dabolim airport is proving to be false”.  However, the GTDC official has stated that any threat from the taxi operators will not be entertained. The official also said that they are having 200 more taxis which will join the service from Monday.

Speaking to Navhind Times one of the taxi operators said they were assured that they will get a counter on the Dabolim Airport and that they have paid money for the same. The assurance was given to them by one Manoj Tari, who heads the Mormugao Tourist Taxi Union under which the taxi operators registered for GOAMILES. The taxi operators have demanded the reimbursement of the money paid to Tari.

Meanwhile, refuting all the charges levelled by the Vasco Taxi Operators, the GoaMiles MD Utkarsh Dabhade, said that they are not associated with any taxi operators and are not responsible for the payment done by the drivers whatsoever. He said, “We are not a party to the discussions held by the taxi operators, we don’t know who has communicated with them about the payment of fees. The counter run by the GTDC at the Dabolim airport is open for everybody, and any taxi operator from Goa can join the service without any restrictions”.

Dabhade further said that out of 150, 90 taxi operators have switched off their phones indicating their withdrawal from the app. He said that GOAMILES operators interacted with some of the agitating cabbies over their demand for a fare hike. Stating that fare hike is not possible, he said the taxi operators are demanding a hike of Rs 2,  whereas the government-approved rate for taxi operators stands between Rs 18 to Rs 24 per kilometre.

But the App service which is primarily launched to provide a fair journey to the tourists said that they will overcome all obstacles to keep up the promise for better transportation to tourists. Dabhade said “There is no setback to GOAMILES and instead we have 200 more taxis on board. Whatever rates are being charged under the app-based taxi service are as per government approved rates and there is no question of a separate category. The lot from Vasco that chose to part today is not going to dampen our spirits in any way,” he added.

The app which was launched to resolve the problem of tourists getting harassed, and cheated by some taxi operators, but soon after the launch it has been found with many technical glitches. Also due to the lack of taxis registered under the app, GTDC is finding it difficult to accept the 4,000 requests per day of the commuters for the taxi.

It is very difficult to estimate the fate of a newly launched App based service as this is something very new to the Goa market and the local cab operators are not used to it. Besides the technical glitches which are bound to happen, the local taxi operators have always been protesting the App based Taxi service in the state and that is why OLA and Uber could not take off. What are your views on this? Please share your suggestions in the comments box below.