The state government will soon come out with a financial assistance scheme to those who want to purchase vehicles to run taxi operations. However, beneficiaries will have to mandatorily register the vehicles under the app-based taxi service GoaMiles.
Explaining the new initiative, Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairman Dayanand Sopte told a press conference in the city that “through the Economic Development Corporation we will provide vehicles at subsidised rates to the unemployed youth. We will also provide 50 per cent subsidy for the vehicle’s insurance through the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.”
The proposed scheme will not be extended to the cabbies who are not ready to enroll under the GoaMiles, he said, adding that the government is also considering launching a scholarship scheme for the children of GoaMiles taxi drivers.
The scholarship scheme could be implemented through the GTDC.
On the recent attacks on GoaMiles drivers by private taxi operators, Sopte said the incidents have sent a wrong message to tourists and could have a negative impact on the tourism industry.
“Some taxi operators are levelling baseless allegations against the GoaMiles out of ignorance and jealousy, as several of their colleagues are doing extremely good after joining the GoaMiles. It seems that some disgruntled people with selfish motives are trying to prevent others from doing well,” the GTDC chairman maintained.
He exhorted the private taxi cabbies to join the GoaMiles at least for a month on trial basis to ascertain the benefits of the app-based taxi service.
Sopte clarified that the government will not allow Uber or Ola app-based services to enter the Goa market as the GoaMiles has been providing “good service”. Moreover, it may lead to ‘confusion’ if other taxi aggregators are allowed into Goa.
Managing director of GoaMiles Utkarsh Dabhade said the fleet of taxis has steadily risen from 55 vehicles to 1,400 cabs since the launch of the service in August 2018.
“The app-based taxi service which was started in August 2018 with 1,500 trips per month touched around 14,000 trips in December 2018. The trips have been more than 20,000 in June 2019,” he said, adding that 85 per cent of the business transaction is done digitally.