Cabbies reject shift to app-based aggregator; CM firm on GoaMiles

Taxi operators stand by their demand for scrapping of GoaMiles; set July 15 deadline for the govt

The Goan Network | JULY 02, 2019, 02:58 AM IST

>> The local taxi operators want scrapping of operations by GoaMiles
>> Will wait until Assembly session begins on July 15 for govt response
>> Will take to the streets if they do not get a favourable response
>> Will back the GTDC-facilitated GoaMiles as it is good for Goa, says CM
>> Illegal businesses related to renting out bikes & cars will be curbed, he says


PANAJI: Local taxi operators on Monday formally conveyed to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant their resolve to reject the proposal for their transition to an app-based service and also placed their demand that the operations by government-facilitated GoaMiles app-based taxi aggregator be scrapped. 

Even as the representatives of local taxi operators who met with Sawant at the Secretariat gave the government time till July 15 to decide on their demands after which they have warned they will take to the streets, the Chief Minister said his government would back the GTDC-facilitated GoaMiles as it is "good for Goa". Representatives of both, the private taxis and the black-and-yellow taxi operators, held a meeting with Sawant on Monday.
They told the media after the meeting that they are firm on their decision to reject the government's proposal urging them to switch to an app-based service.
They also said they want the operations by GoaMiles scrapped and will wait until the Assembly session begins on July 15 for the government's response.
They also said, they will take to the streets along with their dependents if they do not get a favourable response.
Sawant, meanwhile, told the media that the app-based taxi service is good for Goa.
"It (GoaMiles) will continue," Sawant said, adding that local taxi operators were slowly getting convinced about switching to an app-based aggregator.
Other issues raised by the taxi operators at the meeting at which some MLAs were also present included issues related to pick-up of tourists from hotels, railway stations and airport. Sawant said, these issues will be addressed.
Sawant said illegal businesses being run in Goa related to renting out bikes and cars will be curbed with the app-based taxi services.
The chief minister said around 1,000 operators were renting out some 18,000 bikes and another 2560 cars for self-drive on Goa's roads.
“Only 500 of these are operating legally," Sawant said adding that he has issued instructions to the transport department for a probe into these illegalities.
Goa has been gripped by an intense turf war in the taxi space between taxis who have logged on to the GoaMiles app-based aggregator and local operators. The tussle intensified last month with the company alleging that its drivers were facing physical intimidation from the private operators, and one driver even accused Benaulim MLA, Churchill Alemao, who is backing the taxi drivers of assaulting him at Colva.  

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