In News: Kerala has soft launched ‘Kerala Savari’, the country’s first online taxi service owned by a state government, to ensure fair and decent service to passengers along with fair remuneration to auto-taxi workers.
Why has the State government decided to launch this initiative?
- Recently, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) had issued notices to cab aggregators Ola and Uber for unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights.
- It is against this backdrop that the Kerala government has decided to come up with an app-based platform to offer auto-taxi service for the public.
What are the main attractions of ‘Kerala Savari’?
- When private app-based taxi companies increase the charges for services up to two to three times during emergencies, neither passengers nor workers benefit from it.
- But Kerala Savari only charges an 8% service charge in addition to the rate set by the government, whereas the private cab aggregators charge up to 20 to 30% service charge.
- Private cab aggregators used to make a killing with surge pricing during peak hours or in the event of rains.
- But there will be no fluctuation in fares on Kerala Savari irrespective of day or night or rain.
What is the security-related features of ‘Kerala Savari’?
- A police clearance certificate is mandatory for drivers joining the scheme apart from the required proper training.
- A panic button system has been introduced in the app. This button can be pressed in the event of a car accident or in cases of any other danger.
- When one presses the button, there is an option to select the Police, Fire Force, and Motor Vehicle Department numbers.
- If a person is in such a dangerous situation that s/he cannot select any option then pressing the button for a few seconds leads to direct connection to the police control room.
- It has also been decided to install GPS in vehicles at a subsidized rate.
Thus, Kerala Savari is a safe and reliable online service for women, children, and senior citizens.
Source: The Hindu