Travelling around Goa certainly isn’t a piece of cake with rickshaws and taxis dolling out rates competing with inter-state travel prices. However, thanks to the state government’s new initiative ‘Goa Miles,’ people can now avail of cab services with just a click of a few buttons using their mobile app. Moreover, these services are available at government approved rates so you need not worry about having to shell out large sums of money in the process.
Reasons for the launch of Goa Miles
The control that independent taxi drivers had over the cab services was creating a bit of a ruckus among the public due to their exorbitant rates. Apart from that, their availability was also subjected to various personal variables. This made the system of transport for foreigners and Indians alike, quite cumbersome.
Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar said, during the launch of the app that if taxis were easily accessible and charged a reasonable fare, people would even stop their own vehicles and opt for cabs. This would increase demand for these taxis thereby increasing the salaries of the drivers.
Features offers by Goa Miles
This cab booking app, run by local company Frotamiles, was meant to help travellers move around the state without having to worry about hiring bikes and cars for the day. The travellers need not carry cash around as you can pay directly from your Goa Miles Balance after loading cash there. The online process of payment is secure and reliable.
What’s more, you can track the distance to your stop, as well as, the taxi you have asked for thereby allowing you to time your travel, without any hassles. These taxis come all the way to your doorstep and according to Manohar Azgaonkar, Tourism Minster, the app is fitted with a [panic button in case of any emergency that may arise.
The app also provides you the freedom to book specific services like a women-only cab, a city tour or an airport transfer. The vehicles available range from sedans and SUVs to hatchbacks for a smaller number of people.
How to be a part of Goa Miles?
Taxi drivers who are looking to enrol themselves with Goa Miles need to register their taxi services on the app. This process is free of cost. The users of this service will have to keep a minimum balance of Rs. 200 in the e-wallet of their account.
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation has invited all Goan cab drivers to come and be a part of this initiative. There is no fee for taxi drivers to get registered. However, cab owners will have to provide the following documents in order to enrol themselves.
- Adhaaar Card
- Driving license
- A passport size photograph of the driver
The same documents will also have to be furnished by the owner cum operator along with their bank account details, email ID, PAN card and mobile number. The driver will also have to ensure that the RC book, Insurance, Road Tax, Valid permit and Fitness documents are provided. Once all of these things are submitted and verified, the drivers will be trained in 2 batches on a daily basis before being put on the road.
How did people respond to Goa Miles?
One hour after being launched, there were already 120 bookings made. The passenger base for this cab service has already touched 1000 however, as of now, just 350 taxis are registered. Sarvesh Chowgule, member of the tourist taxi union, said that the idea behind the Goa Miles initiative was to get Goan taxi services up on a pedestal and provide better service to the people. The Goa Miles app can be easily downloaded from Google Play Store and the AppStore.
While this initiative is certainly being seen as a step in the right direction, users who availed of this service after its launch felt that the fare mentioned is still three times higher than an Uber or Ola service. Critics state that the idea behind the launch of the cab service seems to have been forgotten. There are still a few bugs in the system that will need to be worked upon but until then, this proves a much-needed alternative to the independent cab services that were driving the state.