What’s in News
- Kerala has soft launched ‘Kerala Savari’, the country’s first online taxi service owned by a State government, to ensure fair and decent service to passengers along with fair remuneration to auto-taxi workers.
Why has the State government decided to launch this initiative?
- The alleged unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights by private app-based cab aggregators have come as a major concern for governments. Recently, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) had issued notices to cab aggregators Ola and Uber for unfair trade practices and violation of consumer rights.
- Passengers often complain about the deficiency in services including charging exorbitant fares during peak hours, unprofessional behaviour from the part of drivers, lack of proper response from customer support, and undue levy of cancellation charges despite the cab driver refusing to accept the ride booked by the passenger etc.
- As private companies are purely focusing on profit making, the government-controlled online taxi service is a service-oriented scheme — a win-win situation for both passengers and taxi-auto drivers and owners.
- Kerala Savari is designed to be a safe and reliable online service for women, children, and senior citizens. A police clearance certificate is mandatory for drivers joining the scheme apart from the required proper training.
- There will be no fluctuation in fares on Kerala Savari irrespective of day or night/rain/peak hours.
- A panic button system has been introduced in the app.