Over time citizens have either grown apathetic to this sight or have merely taken it for granted that tourist taxis are overpriced, leaving people to wonder if there is at all any point in making efforts to resolve the issue.
“Even though I don’t use the tourist taxi services much, I feel it is unfair since people end up paying way more than what is approved. The drivers never put the actual approved rates up for display, nor do they stick to the notified rates,” said Parra resident Ian Fernandes.
Not many in the state and outside are aware that there are designated rates the state government has notified for self-employed tourist taxi operators attached to beach resorts and star hotels.
According to this notification, there are over 30 odd vehicles that have been identified. Each of these vehicles, which vary in make and model, have specific designated charges.
For instance, a Maruti Omni can be hired for four hours by paying 750, and for eight hours by paying 1,450. A vehicle hired for four hours can be used for a maximum distance of 50kms, and one hired for eight hours can be used to cover 100kms. Every extra kilometre beyond the specified distances is chargeable at 16/km
“As a consumer, I’m being cheated with fraudulent rates. It reflects on Goa’s image as a whole, and creates a bad name for the state. The government should publish the notified rates on online portals and share them with various registered travel agents organizing tours in Goa to keep tourists updated. There should also be a helpline number to report in case a taxi driver refuses to abide by the notified rates.” said Caranzalem resident Mohit Pai.
“With the state’s tourism industry expanding at an unprecedented rare, it’s high time we see a transparent system being put in place,” opined Porvorim resident Meenal Bale. “The solution has always been simple – arriving at a consensus about the appropriate fares and putting a meter system in place. Besides tourist taxis, this could be implemented for pilots and rickshaws as well.”
Fernandes added, “The government shouldn’t buckle under pressure from taxi unions while taking a decision regarding improvement of services. Or else they should bring in Ola, Uber and other taxi services popular in metro cities which will definitely help the public since they cannot depend on public transport.”