Pod taxis, a result of a project called the Metrino — a PRT system in which pods are suspended from an overhead rail — has been under consideration for a while and will finally debut in Gurgaon 

The National Highways Authority of India, after completing the groundwork to roll out India’s first personal rapid transit (PRT) network, on Wednesday released the tender. The pilot project will span a 13km stretch from the Gurgaon-Delhi border to Badshapur Mod on Sohna Road and is estimated to cost Rs.850 crore. 

Every pod can take up to five passengers. For the pilot project route, 16 stations have been planned, starting near Ambience Mall. A personal rapid transit (PRT) network is made up of small automated vehicles running at close intervals on a guideway with docking stations for passengers to get on and get off. There is also an option to hire an entire pod that will take a passenger straight to the destination, skipping the scheduled stops. The average speed of the pods is 60 kmph. 

A senior NHAI official said the network would be built within a year and work will start from 1 June this year. The official said land required for the project is already available with it and Haryana government agencies. The project does not need forest and environmental clearance. As for financing, the entire investment will be made by the private company that sets up the PRT. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will recover its investment in 25 years through tickets. 

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced last year that Metrinos will run between Dhaula Kuan in Delhi and Manesar. The overhead network for Metrinos has been planned along the expressway . Prime Minister Narendra Modi had travelled in a pod in Masdar City during his last visit to the United Arab Emirates. 

The Punjab and Haryana governments had, in the past, announced a rollout of pod taxis in Amritsar and Gurgaon, but these never came to fruition. 

According to estimates prepared by the NHAI, while building a kilometre of Metro costs at least Rs.250 crore and of monorail Rs.200 crore, the Metrino system can be built with just Rs.70 crore. It’s lighter as well. 

"The NHAI has now rolled out the project. We have set a target of a year. Subsequently , we could extend this to Dhaula Kuan and Manesar on each side," said the NHAI official.