People in Delhi and some other cities will now have a wider choice of taxis with the launch of a new app that also provides roadside pickup, and commission-free registration and enrolment to cab drivers.
The app was launched on Thursday across seven cities, including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.
The app 'Baxi', which has been joined by some of the taxi drivers who had stuck work last month over financial issues related to major taxi aggregators, offers fixed pricing — which means no surge pricing.
"The base fare for cabs would be Rs 50, beyond which Rs 9 per km and Rs 1 per minute of waiting charge shall be charged. It would not have any surge charges," Vinayak Sawant, the city head of Baxi in Mumbai, told IANS.
Sawant said that Baxi had received about 800 applications from cabbies across Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida till a day before the app was launched.
"We have launched Baxi app for cabs across NCR and Mumbai, which is a free app, with tie up with taxi unions. This was to support the disheartened drivers who had gone on strike," Sawant told IANS.
Praful Shinde from the Mumbai Taxi Union said that they had to take this step as the existing taxi aggregators were not providing the business they promised.
"They initially promised good business but slowly after capturing market, they rolled out their own cabs and began diverting the business… There are over 7,000 cabbies in Mumbai, who have decided to shift to the new platform," Shinde told IANS.
According to him, the app also offers roadside pickup, which means that a person can hire a cab without a phone. "Many people do not want to share their phone number while booking cabs."
Referring to the competition from leading taxi aggregators, who offer rides at lesser rates, the taxi union leader said that they were counting on more drivers to shift to the new app.
"During surge pricing, I remember being charged Rs 6,200 after an IPL match from Wankhede stadium to Thane. In the new app, there will be no surge pricing. We are counting on such features," Shinde said.