The government has extended its support to GoaMiles based taxi app, even as local tourist taxi operators dispute the same, demanding for an app floated by the Government and not a private party. The government is also mulling introducing new taxi-based apps in the State. The amicable solution that is being sought by the government only seems to be aggravating the situation
Even as the government sought to find a solution to the continuing dispute between GoaMiles app-based taxi service and tourist taxi operators, it has failed to come up with any concrete measure in a second Cabinet meeting on the issue,
According to the Herald, a minister who attended the meeting held on Wednesday informed that “the cabinet has extended its support to GoaMiles and wants an amicable solution to resolve the increasing differences between the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s project and the tourist taxis. But the meeting did not come out with any decision on this issue.”
After the first meeting on June 5, the Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant had urged local tourist taxis to join GoaMiles on a trial basis before protesting. “I appeal to all taxi operators to come on board and not oppose. I spoke to app-based operators and discussed and found out their business has doubled. Taxi association must come on a trial basis for 15 days or 1 month at least,” he had stated.
According to this source, while taxi operators have relented to an app-based service, they have requested for an app to be run by the government and not the privately operated GoaMiles.
The Chief Minister has convened a meeting of coastal MLAs and taxi associations on coming Monday to discuss this proposal. Calangute MLA Michael Lobo has expressed hope that an amicable solution is reached at this meeting.
But even as these issues are being brought on board, a report in The Times of India indicated that the government is also mulling the possibility of allowing new app-based taxi services in the State.
The argument in favor of this move, according to one Minister, is that since Goa is a tourist destination and commuters are using app-based services all over, the Goa government should implement it too. “There should be no hassle over cab service. They should have on offer an app-based service,” the minister said while pointing out that it would be beneficial to both locals and tourists alike.
However, he assured that the government is keen to bring all tourist taxi operators on board and will allow any group of taxi operators to start their aggregator “Having fair competition between them will help the commuter,” he said.
According to a source, it is pointed out that one way of ensuring that all tourist taxis are made part of the app-based services was to introduce new aggregator apps. It was also suggested that new committees be formed to include a representative from each tourist taxi operator association from North and South Goa to ensure transparency.
The government is also mulling other option to bring taxi operators on board the app-based services.