Mumbai: Not once, twice, or thrice… Mumbaikars have lost count of taxi drivers refusing rides, mostly short ones. The struggle makes one lose trust in the city at large, which gets stamped as heartless. Over tea or on trains, each one of us has many tales to recount.
To address the issue, the Free Press Journal has begun a campaign against such refusals. On Thursday, our team tried to hail a taxi from right outside the Mumbai Taximen’s Union Office at Dr DB Marg, Mumbai Central, for Haji Ali and Tardeo. However, 71 out of 98 drivers either refused or didn’t stop.
A Marine Lines resident, who identified herself as Urmila, was returning from Shimla and couldn’t get a taxi despite heavy bags. She was frustrated as nearly a dozen drivers refused to ferry her. She said, “It has become a routine.”
Zunaid Khan from Grant Road said, “We need strict laws for taxi drivers in the city.” He was trying to get a taxi from the Taximen’s Union office with his wife and two children.
Mayuri Shah from Kalbadevi sarcastically said, “This is the perfect example of active transport department officials. I have been trying to get a taxi from the RTO office for over 20 minutes now, but no one wants to go to Kalbadevi.”
She said, “If drivers outside the RTO office don’t blink an eye while refusing passengers, then you can easily assume what the situation would be like in other parts of the city.” According to Ms Shah, finding a taxi for Kalbadevi in the area is like winning a lottery.
Other passengers this newspaper spoke to said that drivers should display their names on the front and back of the vehicle with an active helpline number that should work at least 14 hours every day of the week.
Maynak Khandwala from Grant Road said, “Several passengers are still not aware about the helpline numbers of the Mumbai traffic police and transport department. The state transport department needs to affix the helpline number on each and every taxi in bold letters.” On Thursday, Mr Khandwala was trying to get a taxi outside the Mumbai Central railway station, but had to finally take a bus after trying for 20 minutes.
So what should you do when taxi drivers refuse a ride? If you can’t see any traffic police official around, dial 100. Tell them the taxi number and the name of the driver if you can. If needed, put the official on speaker phone and make him/her talk to the driver.
WHAT TO DO
Tweet to Mumbai Police’s handle with the complaint
Call on Mumbai RTO helpline 9076201010
Register your complaint with photo of taxi on email@example.com
Mail the photograph of taxi number to firstname.lastname@example.org
or tweet the pic with #EndMumbaiTaxiProblem
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