TechnoparkToday.com(Dec,2013) : Bolstered by the overwhelming response to its She Taxi project for women travellers, the Gender Park in Kerala is planning to integrate car pooling system into the service which is set to expand from a fleet of five cars to 25 by January 1.
She Taxi is the first off-campus project by the Gender Park which is an institution newly established under the Department of Social Justice, Government of Kerala, to work towards gender equity.
Since its launch last month, the service has seen tremendous response from the public, especially travelling women and women entrepreneurs wanting to operate their own taxis, said Gender Park CEO Shri PT M Sunish.
Within the first 15 days the She Taxis carried around 100 passengers. The taxis were also employed full time during the recently concluded week-long 18th International Film Festival of Kerala to transport delegates and guests.
“We have facilitated 10 more vehicle bookings and are processing more applications received from women entrepreneurs. By the start of the new year we expect to have at least 20 more taxis in addition to the five that are currently fully equipped and operational,” he added.
The Gender Park now plans to roll out taxi pooling system through She Taxi for women commuters, especially those travelling long distances. The new service targets professionals and students who travel to the city everyday from the suburbs and outskirts.
“Car pooling, as we know, is a very cost effective and eco-friendly mode of travel and we want to encourage women commuters coming from the same area to use She Taxis for the purpose,” Shri Sunish said. “A taxi pool will cost less than the autorickshaw fare for the same distance and they can travel in safety and the comfort of an air-conditioned sedan.”
Registrations for taxi pooling can be done through the call centre at 85900 00543. The routes and timings will be introduced depending on the registrations.
She Taxi is a 24X7 service available for booking via mobile phones and online. Women travelling alone or with families can dial the customer care centre which will provide them with a Unique Identification Code and the vehicle number on their mobile phones.
All cabs are metered and have an electronic payment system allowing the user to pay using credit or debit cards or cash.
The She Taxis come with multiple security systems for the safety of the drivers as well as the passengers. A control room tracks the taxis in real-time using GPS; there are personal emergency alert switches for drivers and passengers inside the car; and a similar safety alert app is installed on the mobile phones of the women drivers.
The cabs have a map of all emergency response systems in the city and public safety officers will be available for their assistance. The drivers will also be given training in self-defence as well as good driving practices