Uber and Ola have Times of India as marketing agents!
At the prepaid taxi counter at the Dabolim airport, the distance to Panaji andCaranzalem is listed as 34km and the fare for a trip there is recorded as 950 for a non-AC taxi and 1,000 for an AC taxi. The actual distance from the airport to Panaji/Caranzalem one can check the best route via Google Mapsis 26 to 27km.
At the listed distance, the fare works out to 28 per km and at the actual distance, it works out to 35 per km. These prices are ridiculous and hardly affordable. The worst part is that these are apparently government notified.
When taxi unions claim that they do not cheat people, perhaps it is because they mostly systematically cheat people in ‘legal’ ways. Is our government simply giving into the demands of a mafia-like union that uses violence to drive away competition?
I was refused a cab by the operator at the stand last week simply because I asked why the rate was so high and the distance not properly recorded. The rude operator told me, and I quote, “We do not provide services to people like you.” Is this the first point of contact we want tourists to have in Goa? This kind of behaviour leaves people with a bad image of the state.
When talked to about Ola/Uber, every taxi driver has the same excuse — there isn’t enough of a market here. While the size and density of metro cities definitely helps bring down prices, app-based services also run in smaller cities and could see success in Goa, too.If Uber
were present in Goa, many people would use them for their convenience. Using a taxi means that one doesn’t need to find parking. It also helps reduce incidents of drunk driving.
But taxi unions will object because their government-backed monopoly lets them earn much more money for lesser work. Competition would hurt profits and would mean that they would have to work more for the same pay. The government has to be willing to go up against these unions if it wants to maintain Goa’s image as a tourist destination.