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23rd August 2022 (7 Topics)

‘Kerala Savari’ to be the first online taxi service as a public option in India


Kerala has 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.


About the initiative

  • Kerela Savari is an app-based public taxi service for safe travel for the public at ‘government approved fares’ without any surge pricing
  • It will be operated by the Motor Workers Welfare Board under the aegis of the Labour Department.
  • The ‘Kerala Savari’ app would be made available to the public on online platforms shortly as it is under the scrutiny of Google.
  • Kerala Savari is expected to reach Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, and Kannur municipal limits by this month.

Why has the State government decided to launch this initiative?

  • The 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.
  • Private cab aggregators used to make a high surge in pricing during peak hours or in the event of rains.

Additional facilities provided under the scheme

  • Less Expenditure: There will be no fluctuation in fares on Kerala Savari irrespective of day or night or rain.
  • The Kerala Savari only charges an 8% service charge in addition to the rate set by the government, whereas the private cab aggregators charge up to 20 to 30% service charge. 
  • Of the 8 % collected charges, 6% will go to the technical partner, and the remaining 2% will go to the implementation of this scheme and for providing promotional incentives to passengers and drivers. 
  • Security aspects: Kerala Savari is claimed as a safe and reliable online service for women, children, and senior citizens.
  • This consideration has been given importance in app designing and driver registration.
  • A police clearance certificate is mandatory for drivers joining the scheme apart from the required proper training.
  • A panic button system has been introduced in the app. This button can be pressed in the event of a car accident or in cases of any other danger.
  • Technology oriented: It has also been decided to install GPS in vehicles at a subsidised rate.
  • A 24-hour call centre has been prepared and state-of-the-art call centre is functioning at the district office of the Motor Workers Welfare Board.
  • The call centre works in such a way that all service-related issues can be resolved immediately.

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