Mumbai taxi drivers haven’t been the biggest fans of cab hailing companies Uber and Ola. Seeing their business slip away from under them, they’ve resorted to protests, strikes, and political posturing to get these companies out of Mumbai. But their efforts have been in vain – consumers have responded with their feet, and Ola and Uber have made rapid inroads into the city.
But now Mumbai’s iconic “kaali-peeli” taxi owners are trying to take on cab hailing startups at their own game. The city’s two major taxi unions have prepared an app through which black-and-yellow taxis can be booked just like aggregator cabs. The app is called “9211” and will be launched by the end of the month.
“All kali-peeli drivers will be asked to enrol for the app, which ideally should be used by customers to book taxis across the city ,” said Prem Singh, leader, Mumbai Taxi Association. “We will provide you service at the doorstep.”
The 9211 app will show users the locations of registered taxis in their vicinity. Fares will be as per goverment regulations, starting at Rs. 22 for the first 1.5 kms. The rest of the process runs much like other cab hailing companies. Payments however, will be made in cash at the completion of the ride.
The taxi unions claim that the app has several add ons – the app will have security features for women traveling alone, and each cab will be tracked in real time from a control room. The app will also have an SOS button for police response in case of emergencies.