PANAJI: Plagued with the lack of an efficient public transportation system in the state, citizens have always been at the mercy of tourist taxis to commute during the wee hours. This resource, however, has proven to be more of a bane for them. The main bone of contention is the lack of rate cards and the absence of meters, which implies that distances covered and fares charged can’t be registered.
This tends to give taxi operators a free hand to charge exorbitant fares, which, very often, goes unreported to the state department of transport.
With non-availability of transport at night, a number of professionals working late hours are left with no option but depend on tourist taxis.
Former event manager, Sharlene Pinto, shared her travails during her stint at an events company. “When we would hire manpower to help out at EDM festivals, we’d have to arrange transport for them to travel back home. This is mainly because after 10pm, there is absolutely no public transport service in Goa. Shuttling clients and performing artistes around would also become expensive owing to tourist taxis overcharging us. As a result, we had to purchase our own vehicles to transport people around,” she rued
The extortionist attitude of these operators also discourages students studying outside Goa to rent cabs. “Since most cabbies overcharge, I have to depend on family and friends for a pick-up from or a drop to the airport. This becomes a matter of serious inconvenience for those of us who travel often,” Uma Kodali Nutulapati, a student, said.