Delhi government has decided to bring all autorickshaws and taxis under one App called PoochO, facilitating commuters to book them through smartphones during a 15-day trial of odd-even scheme starting January 1.
Commenting on the move, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that PoochO app will be launched on December 22, when ‘Car-Free Day’ will be organised on Vikas Marg in East Delhi’s Lakshmi Nagar area. He even held a meeting with auto and taxi union representatives to roll out a systematic plan so that people won’t have to face problems in hiring taxis and autorickshaws from January 1 to 15.
The number of autorickshaws and taxis in the capital city is estimated to be 80,000 and 30,000 respectively. After the launch of PoochO app, commuters will be able to book autos and taxis using their smartphones on the lines of app-based private taxi service providers.
Rai added that under PoochO app, we will launch two separate Apps, one for passengers and another one for drivers. Government will run an awareness campaign for drivers of taxis and autos to register themselves before December 22. They can send their details on mobile number 9958694311 for their registration.
The Minister said that city’s autos and taxis will come under PoochO app which can be downloaded on phones from Google Play store and thereafter, people will have to ensure GPS of their phone is on, and can find out the nearest auto to them through maps.
PoochO app will only work on those auto and taxis having Global Positioning System (GPS), adding that there are around 75% of autorickshaws which are GPS-enabled.
This move is representative of the government’s growing inclination towards exploiting technology for better governance. However, it could emerge as a major concern for companies like Ola and Jugnoo who are already into aggregating taxis and autorickshaws. Moreover, it would have been faster for the government to process its new move had it partnered with these companies. But as of yet, no hint or announcement has been made on these lines. Nevertheless, it is too early to say how and to what degree this initiative will impact private businesses, for this is a new game for the government itself.