Mumbai: Travelers arriving at Dadar Railway Station are facing major issues finding a taxi for their onward journey, as errant taxi drivers persist in their malpractices, leaving passengers frustrated.
Regular commuters have voiced their concerns, highlighting the need for immediate action against taxi drivers who have been causing distress to passengers. Apart from refusing short fares, these drivers have been consistently parking their vehicles haphazardly outside the east side of the station and approaching the platform to solicit long-distance passengers. Most of these taxis are bound for the suburbs and often subject passengers to overcharging and a refusal to use metered rates.
On Thursday, an FPJ correspondent and camera person found that more than half a dozen taxi drivers were queuing in front of the Central Railway terminus at Dadar. However, the majority of them were unwilling to travel short distances to locations like Wadala, Five Gardens, Parel, or Prabhadevi using metered rates, instead seeking long-distance passengers and demanding exorbitant fares.
Sohan Lal Jain, a 45-year-old resident of Ghatkopar, expressed his frustration, saying, 'These taxi drivers corner passengers and demand exorbitant charges from them. Some of them even venture inside the station premises to solicit customers.'
The problem has left many commuters in dire situations, such as a 25-year-old divyang person who struggled for over an hour to find a taxi at Dadar West while trying to reach Cotton Green. Ultimately, he was forced to resort to a BEST bus for his journey.
Out of 78 taxi drivers checked by FPJ on Thursday in both Dadar East and West, only 14 drivers were willing to ply their taxis to short-distance locations, including Prabhadevi, Siddhivinayak Temple, Chaityabhoomi, Wadala, Five Gardens, and Ram Mandir, while the rest blatantly refused.
This renewed campaign by The Free Press Journal seeks to address these ongoing issues and create a more inclusive and fair commuting environment for Mumbai residents. It follows a previous initiative launched in January, which, although yielding some positive results, has not fully resolved the problem, prompting the newspaper to recommence its efforts on October 18th to combat these issues and enhance the commuting experience for all.
What to do?
If you face 'refusal to ply,' you should politely remind the taxi or rickshaw driver that he is not allowed to refuse a fare. If the driver does not pay heed, you can call the helpline number 100.
Apart from that, to file a complaint, passengers can WhatsApp the details of the incident, including the registration number, location, time, and, if possible, a picture to the following numbers:
Mumbai City: 9076201010 Wadala: 9152240303 Andheri: 9920240202 Borivali: 8591944747
People can also send an email to email@example.com with the vehicle’s photograph displaying the registration number. The FPJ will address the issue promptly. It’s essential to provide specific information about the incident and communicate in either English or Marathi. Passengers can also share their grievances on social media platforms like X, with hashtags #EndTaxiProblem and #EndRickshawProblem, tagging @fpjindia.