PANAJI: With a vision to improve the image of Goa as a safe tourist destination, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) on Thursday rolled out its women taxi service in North Goa.
Beginning with, 10 air-conditioned tourist taxis equipped with GPS and electronic fare meter will be driven by women travel hostesses that will cater exclusively to female tourists, couples and families and no single male passenger or group of males will be taken on-board.
The contact number for the cabs – 0832-2437437 – is linked to a GTDC control room. The services will be coordinated and monitored from this centre through tracking system and fare charged on point-to-point basis as per the government-notified rates.
Stating that meters will be made compulsory on all private taxis by one to two years, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, speaking at the inaugural function of women taxi service in city, said that by next 1-2 years all private taxis operating in the state will be fitted with a fare meters in a phased manner and the decision will be taken in consideration with the taxi owners association for further improving the tourism services and reducing the complaints of overcharging”.
“We are also ready to provide meters at subsidized rates,” he added. Parrikar also said such service will definitely attract more people from other areas to the state and provide safety to female travelers who arrive alone in the state for business purpose or as tourists. GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral said, “We hope to launch women taxis in South Goa also. Initially, the women cab service will be available from 7 a.m to 9 p.m but depending upon its success, the service will be extended full time to the entire state.”
Insisting on not to call them ‘taxi drivers,’ Cabral said that the women rather be called travel hostesses since they are trained in self defense, soft skills, first aid, etiquettes and basic knowledge on tourist spots imparted to them.
On the salient features of the taxi service, GTDC managing director Nikhil Desai said that all vehicles are fitted with electronic fare meters with provision to give digital receipt on payment through cash or through card. Moreover, the cab is equipped with emergency panic button with portable fire extinguisher. He also told that the hostesses will be provided with identity card.
First-of-its-kind women taxi service launched in N Goa