Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Clash over fare rates between Goa Miles and local taxi operators intensifies

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 11, 2024, 12:52 PM IST
Clash over fare rates between Goa Miles and local taxi operators intensifies

The ongoing dispute between tourist taxis and GoaMiles operators aggravated, yet again, as the former reached the residence of local MLA Pravin Arlekar early this morning demanding uniformity in fares.

The chaos erupted when GoaMiles drivers clashed with the local taxi operators over fare rates. Arlekar has demanded that the government bring uniformity in taxi fares and removal of GoaMiles counter from the Manohar International Airport (MIA), Mopa.

“Local taxi operators need not worry. I will always stand with them. GoaMiles rates are the lowest compared to others, which has adversely hit local taxi operators. All rates should be equal. As an app-based service, GoaMiles should not have a counter at the airport,” Arlekar demanded.

The development comes two days after the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa's (TTAG) slammed political interference into the matter and appealed to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant seeking an urgent solution.

The taxi operators have accused the GoaMiles drivers of encroaching into their business at hotels and resorts in North Goa, where a queue system is traditionally followed.

“We charge around Rs 43 per km, but GoaMiles charges Rs 25 per km. In fact, the GoaMiles drivers should be making noise for getting so little. We are against the GoaMiles app, not the drivers. If GoaMiles has an app, why do they need a counter,” one of the taxi drivers questioned.

The GoaMiles taxi drivers defended their fare structure, arguing that despite perceptions of their rates being low, various deductions reduce their earnings. “We are all Pednekars. They are saying our rates are low. From MIA to Calangute, our fares come to around Rs 1000. But with TDS, GST and parking deductions, we get around Rs 650. The MLA has said he will speak to the CM and come up with a solution. We agree with equal rates and have nothing against the local taxi operators. We are all locals,” an app representative stated.

On Tuesday, the TTAG had highlighted escalating tensions between tourist taxi operators and app-based aggregators in the tourism belt. TTAG President Jack Sukhija called for an end to political pressure on North Goa hotels, which he claimed is hindering cooperation with app-based taxis and inconveniencing tourists during the monsoon season.

TTAG also condemned political interference emphasizing that customers should have the right to choose between online and offline taxis.

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