The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has verified the applications of 584 taxi operators who have sought registration under the ‘Goamiles’ taxi app, which is set to be launched the next month.
“Currently, we have around 2,900 licensed taxi drivers in Goa, who have expressed interest in joining the app-based system, of which the documents of 584 taxi operators have been verified, and 700 are in the process of verification,” said the managing director of the Goamiles, Utkarsh Dabhade.
Dabhade claimed that around 80 taxi operators are approaching GTDC on a daily basis for inquiries and with a wish to join the system.
He said that GTDC is verifying permit of the vehicle, licence, residential address and police verification of the taxi operator, which have been made mandatory.
He informed that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will be integrated into the system and it will be a unique feature of this taxi service.
“There will be two types of GPS in the project, mainly from the perspective of the passenger’s safety wherein mobile app will coordinate and a GPS will also be fitted in the vehicle as per the government mandate,” he said.
The app will be free for passengers to download on Android and iOS platforms. Whenever a passenger would request a ride, the nearest taxi would see the location, and confirm pickup and arrival time.
The GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral informed that the file pertaining to the ‘Goamiles’ taxi app has been sent to the Chief Minister’s office for the final approval of the government.
A highly placed source at the transport department said that there are no existing provisions in the Motor Vehicle Act by which an individual ought to seek the permission of the Transport Department to run app-based taxis service.
The central government is in the process of adding a section to the Motor Vehicle Act to cover the app-based taxi service, the source said adding currently there is no provision in the Motor Vehicle Act, which makes it mandatory for app-based taxi operators to register or get permission from the transport department.
The source informed that Ola and Uber are working with their own system and the respective state governments have formulated their own guidelines and rules to facilitate different app-based taxi services.