Kerala Govt's ride-hailing service to cover over a million autorickshaws, cabs

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Thiruvananthapuram: The State Government is all set to launch an online taxi service, Kerala Savari, on the lines of the multinational ride-hailing service Uber.

The service will be rolled out in the Thiruvananthapuram city on November 1.

Seven lakh autorickshaws and five lakh taxi cars, operating in Kerala, will be included in the project. Initially, 50 taxis and 50 autos will be operated in the city on a trial basis. The service would be extended to the district headquarters and rural areas later.

The project is being implemented by the State Labour Department and the Palakkad Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), a public sector undertaking. The software, GPS coordination and call centre will be provided by the ITI.

For each trip, the taxi owner has to remit eight per cent of the fare to the government. Of which, six per cent is for the ITI service. The rate fixed by the Motor Vehicles Department has to be paid for the autos and taxis. The amount will be displayed on the mobile app. If the customers are within 500 metres of the vehicle, no additional charge will be levied for picking them up from their location.

For ensuring safety, special button will be installed in the vehicle to contact the police.

Offers would also be extended to woo more auto-taxi operators to the project. The government is holding discussions with the petroleum retailers as well as tyre and insurance companies in its bid to garner autorickshaws and cabs. The plan is to encourage such entities to offer incentives to vehicles that are part of the Kerala Savari project.

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