Refusal to ply (RTP) by errant taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers has become a major issue in Mumbai, leaving thousands of citizens stranded and frustrated. The situation has reached a point where hundreds of commuters feel helpless, resorting to begging for a ride to their destinations. However, what many passengers don't realize is that cab drivers cannot refuse a fare without a valid reason, and there are avenues to address this problem.
Auto-rickshaws and taxis cannot refuse to transport passengers, as per the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Act, Section 22 (d) 178 (3) (b).Penalties for refusal to ply range from ₹100 to ₹200.
The Free Press Journal previously launched a campaign against errant taxi drivers in January, promising strict action against those refusing to transport short-distance passengers.
Progress has been made, but the problem persists, leading to the re-launch of the campaign from Monday.
The refusal of short-distance passengers by taxi and auto drivers has been a persistent issue in Mumbai, causing inconvenience for commuters. In an effort to address this problem and create a more inclusive commuting environment, The Free Press Journal has decided to relaunch a campaign against errant taxi and drivers. Under this initiative, individuals are encouraged to report instances of refusal by taxi and auto drivers for short-distance trips. To do this, passengers should capture a photo of the vehicle and tag @fpjindia on X (formerly Twitter) with the hashtag #FreePressForABetterMumbai. FPJ will raise the issue promptly.It's essential to provide specific information about the incident and communicate in either English or Marathi. This initiative aims to address issues related to auto and taxi services more effectively.
By leveraging social media and these hashtags, the campaign aims to garner the attention of relevant authorities, ultimately working towards a solution that benefits all commuters in Mumbai.
What to do if a taxi/auto driver refuses to ply?
Passengers facing refusal should politely remind drivers that they are not allowed to refuse a fare. If drivers persist in refusing, passengers can call on helpline number 100 too.
Apart from that Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in Mumbai have already introduced a WhatsApp helpline for addressing complaints against auto and taxi drivers. According to state transport department officials, the number of complaints received is quite low, averaging only two or three per helpline. They also mentioned that these complaints are promptly addressed. However, to tackle this issue effectively, passengers are encouraged to come forward and report instances of refusal promptly to the authorities.For Mumbai City, the helpline number is 9076201010. In Vadala, Andheri, and Borivali, residents can reach out to specific numbers: 9152240303, 9920240202, and 8591944747, respectively. To file a complaint, individuals should WhatsApp the details of the incident, including the vehicle number, location, time, and, if possible, a picture. Complaints can also be registered via email using the following addresses: Mumbai City: email@example.comEastern Suburbs: firstname.lastname@example.orgWestern Suburbs: email@example.com
FPJ's Previous Campaigns
During monsoons, The Free Press Journal started a unique campaign to focus attention on the problem of potholes being faced by citizens in the Mumbai metropolitan area. We started a ‘Best Pothole Contest’ wherein we invited readers to send pictures of potholes in their area. To say that the response to the campaign, which closed on August 6, was overwhelming would be an understatement.
As Mumbaikars are aware, The Free Press Journal has consistently undertaken responsibilities and committed to make our beloved city a better place to live.
Our latest campaign will also be dedicated to the people of Mumbai who deserve to travel without any hassle on the roads at any point in time.