Rickshawale

The war for providing the most affordable and reliable commute just got hotter. For long, radio cabs and regular taxis have ruled the roost in Mumbai. Rickshaws have always been there too, but they either refuse to ply to certain areas or charge a bomb when they do, courtesy ‘fast’ meters. Even though taxis have the same problem, people usually end up hailing a radio cab / taxi rather than an auto, though the former costs more.

This is where Vikhroli based Rickshawale aim to change all that, by having

  • Registered drivers & live tracking of every Auto Rickshaw
  • Strict Pay-by-meter policy
  • No refusal of service
  • 24 Hr service
  • Computerised call centre with trained staff

They aim to make it worthwhile for the rickshaw drivers too, by providing them benefits like accident insurance, genuine spare parts and qualified servicing for their vehicles as well as financing opportunities to meet personal and professional obligations. This is pretty good because drivers are the backbone of any such operation, and attrition is pretty high so it helps to look after their needs as well.

There is a Fare Calculator on the site which gives you an idea of the approximate fare so it doesn’t come as a surprise when you actually have to pay. I filled in Bandra and Goregaon as the coordinates and was shown the fare as Rs.113 (no idea how accurate this is – I haven’t taken a rick between these places) along with the route on Google Maps.

Rickshawale

Their web site could do with some QC as there are typos galore, though I’m just nitpicking. The actual proof will be in the quality and level of service they are able to provide. This is not an easy task, and there will certainly be teething troubles, as Pune based AyAuto have been finding out.

However, the key lies in being reliable and if they crack this, it would provide some much needed respite to Mumbaikars.

Rickshawale are going live on Saturday, October 15th 2011, so we’ll find out then just how they are faring :)