Sunday, 24 September, 2017

The time is now

11th July 2017, 10:34 Hrs
The demand to regulate taxi fares has been a touchy subject in Goa for as long as anyone can remember. However, each time the issue of introducing meters or cab aggregators comes up, Goa’s taxi cartel, threatens to cease all operations and creates such a ruckus that the government invariably buckles under the pressure and gives in to their demands. rIn April this year, an online petition by a Goan citizen gained stupendous traction with over 10,000 signatures when a plea was made to the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to facilitate the entry of Ola and Uber cab services in the state. And while the CM promised to look into the matter by mid-June, he has yet again failed to live up to his promise. rBut the question remains: Why did the e-petition go viral? And why do we feel such a huge need for organised cab services in the state? The reasons here are two-fold. One, the fact that the state of public transport in Goa is simply dismal and the cabs and auto-rickshaws that do ply charge exorbitantly for their services. Two, because private transport continues to dominate motorised passenger travel and our cities are simply not built to handle such large volumes of incoming vehicular traffic. Obstructive parking with vehicles occupying an entire lane in arterial and side roads stifling the movement of traffic is a common sight in our cities. Compare this to the metros where a majority of the population travel by autos and cabs thus reducing the need to use one’s own car. It’s time we actively reduced the number of private cars on the road but this can only be accomplished if public transport establishes a sizeable presence.

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