Times of India seems to be on a tirade against the Taxi operators. Who is paying to get this published everyday is a question that crosses my mind.
I have been residing in Goa for over two years. I travel to Bengaluru or Mumbai for work and personal reasons once every three weeks. The massive bill I have built up on taxi
charges to and from the airport is astounding. This is because there is no alternative choice of transport and, as much as I would like, I cannot ride my scooter all the way to and fromPorvorim
I often pay 2,500 towards round-trip airfare. But, taxi charges from my residence in Alto Porvorim to the airport and back cost anything between 2,000 and 2,500, depending on the time of flight arrival. Any travel beyond 10pm involves an additional 400 to the total fare. So, my cost of travel is effectively double. But, in Mumbai or Bengaluruor in fact, any Indian city I visitthere are multiple choices of transport: airport buses, autorickshaws, shared taxis, AC taxis, and non-AC taxis. All have meters.
I laud the idea of considering tourists and their problems, but what about us living here? I’m sure tourists don’t like to be surrounded by unruly mobs of taxi drivers as soon as they exit the airport, but neither do we residents! I have often been forced to break the news, gently, to sweet youngsters asking for information in the flights, that Uber and Ola do not function in Goa, that there are no buses outside the airport, and in fact, they would have to spend all their hard-earned money to simply transport themselves from the airport to Arambol (3,000 rupees or so) or wherever.
That’s not all, most times on returning home, particularly in the night, I have to bear the unreasonable argument that I have misled the taxi service, that my house is in Socorro and not Alto Porvorim, disregarding the fact that my address reads ‘Porvorim’. And, of course, the proposition to cough up an extra 100. Only the view of my large dog at the gate discourages them from continuing the battle.
Goa is supposed to be a tourist hub, and one of the marks of such a hub is easy accessibility and smooth transport anywhere.
I’m sorry to say that Goa stands nowhere in this regard. I wait for the day when I can actually invite friends and relatives to Goa without having to warn them first of these day/night robberies!