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November 21, 2013

WB govt to launch `Tourist Taxis` soon

WB govt to launch `Tourist Taxis` soon

To attract more tourists to the city, the state government has decided to deploy taxis exclusively for tourists. 

The decision was taken after the state government found that tourists are being hoodwinked by taxi operators as they do not have any idea about taxi fares and distance between various tourist destinations in the city. It was also found that tourists find it difficult to hire a taxi to visit various tourist spots. A cell phone number will be given to hotels in the city so that tourists can hire taxis by dialling the number. 

If a tourist is deceived by taxi operators, he/she can lodge a complaint by calling the said number. Initially, the taxis will be stationed at Howrah and Sealdah station and NSC Bose Airport. Tourists can hire taxis at affordable rates. The Transport Department will introduce 50 tourist taxis initially. Later, the department will introduce more taxis according to demand.

“Taxi operators have already tarnished the image of the state by charging exorbitant fares from tourists. The initiative will help the government attract more tourists and create a better image,“ state Transport Minister Madan Mitra said.    

The state Transport Department with the help of Public Vehicles Department (PVD) and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will issue offer letters inviting taxi operators to get permits for taxis. The taxi operators will have to be fluent in English and Hindi to get permits for tourist taxis and should have an idea about various tourist places in the city. 

The department will instruct PVD and RTOs to collect cell phone numbers, residential address, a passport size photograph of the taxi drivers and a copy of their driving license while issuing the offer letter.

Cell phone numbers and addresses of the taxi drivers will help the Transport Department catch the taxi driver found charging exorbitant fares.