Autorickshaw drivers and cabbies in Mumbai have rejected the new Bajaj RE60 auto-rickcar that was launched on Tuesday with taximen saying it’s “too small’’ and automen calling it“a ploy to finish off the auto trade’’.
“We had seen this coming. The government had always wanted to encourage private players and all this is a ploy to finish off the auto trade,’’ said Shashank Rao of the Mumbai Automen’s Union.
Thampy Kurien, another leader, said: “The Bajaj RE60 can never replace traditional autos as the basic difference is it is driven differently. Auto drivers have a three-wheeler licence and to drive this new vehicle, we would require a four-wheeler licence.’’
He said moreover, even the driving skills required are different and many auto drivers will have to learn driving four wheelers all over again. Another practical problem is the doors would mean more space for parking. Autos are sleek and small and can be easily parked in minimal space and can take easy U-turns, he added.
Those who are saying that this is a replacement for autos are day-dreaming and haven’t really studied the practicalities, said Kurien.
Another office bearer of the union said that the new auto-rickcar was too expensive and would also push up the fares as the fare formula includes the cost of the vehicle too.
“We do not think it is a feasible idea,’’ Kurien complained. Mumbai Taximen’s Union Anthony L Quadros said that the auto-rickcar is too small. ‘’This vehicle can never replace traditional cabs. It will not be even able to ferry as many people as a normal cab. It is a match for autos not cabs,’’ he said.
Cabbies in the city are now eyeing swankier models like Toyotas for a comfortable ride for Mumbaikars.
Via DNA INDIA