It’s time for Ola, Uber to come to Goa

Limited number of state-owned buses and exorbitant charges of private taxis leave tourists high and dry in Goa

vishwas

Vishwas Dass | February 7, 2019


#GoaMiles   #Goa Tourism   #transport   #Uber   #Ola   #Goa  
Photo: Vishwas Dass
Photo: Vishwas Dass

Famous for its scenic beaches and a blend of Indo-Portuguese culture, Goa is a favourite destination for tourists – Indians and foreigners alike. But the state which draws so many tourists every year offers a dismal transportation facility. The capital city of Panaji has very less government-owned buses to ferry passengers to some prominent tourist destinations. Cashing on this, private taxi operators and auto-rickshaw drivers charge exorbitant money from the tourists.

During a recent visit to Goa, I was in for a surprise when I found that Panaji did not have enough AC and non-AC buses run by the state transport authority. The city mostly relied on several private non-AC buses. 

A day’s sightseeing, for 80 km distance and eight hours duration, is likely to cost around ₹2,000 to ₹2,500 in a private taxi. 
 
Moreover, the services of non-AC private buses from Panaji to places like Candolim, Calangute, Anjuna, Baga, Morjim and Arambol are limited till 7 pm only. As I result I was dependent on private cabs to return to the capital after coughing up a huge amount every time.
 
For example, travelling from Panaji to Calangute (a distance of 15 kms) would cost Rs 10 per person in a private bus but one has to shell out somewhere between Rs 350 and Rs 400 or even more in a private taxi. During night hours, this amount obviously increases.
 
Private buses though offer a cheaper deal and charge somewhere from Rs 10 to Rs 20 per person depending on the distance, but they do not issue tickets to passengers and often have long stoppages to accommodate more people, wasting a lot of time.
 
I was not able to spot a single Ola, Uber or Meru in Goa. Having transformed public transport of metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai I was confused why these cab aggregators are missing from the country’s favourite tourist destination. 
 
When I asked Goa's assistant director of transport (headquarters) Rajesh Naik over phone about this he said that Ola and Uber have never approached the government of Goa and the sector is always open for them.
 
Naik also said that the state has enough taxi operators and maintained that there are adequate numbers of public-sector buses as well.
 
When I discussed this issue with the locals they said that the nexus of local taxi and tour operators is very strong and they have a monopoly; they strongly oppose Ola and Uber taxi aggregators to come and operate in Goa.
 
A private taxi driver Mahesh said that private taxi operators do not want Ola and Uber to launch their services as it would result in heavy competition and private players will have to bring down tariffs to remain in the competition.
 
A local Nandan Jaikumar said the locals use private buses at cheaper rates and they never take taxis for reaching offices but tourists who wish to travel in cabs often end up paying hefty charges to operators.
 
With no public buses and high prices of private cabs I tried Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s app-based taxi service ‘GoaMiles’, which was launched by Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar in August 2018 in Panaji. The cab service claims to offer cheaper rides as compared to other private operators and has 350 cars on the road.
 
I booked a cab from GoaMiles app from Dabolim Airport to Panaji (around 25 kms) which charged me around Rs 720-800 as compared to Rs 1,050-1,100 a private taxi would have charged. The difference in price was obviously not much and considering the heavy flow of tourists, GoaMiles needs to add more fleets of cabs to take on private cab operators.
 
If other tourist destinations are compared with Goa, the cities usually have an adequate fleet of state transport buses to offer economical rides to passengers. 
 
The government of Goa needs to take more efforts to strengthen state-run transport not only for the tourists but locals as well.
 

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam A

Allegations against CJI: Inquiry will strengthen the independence of the judiciary

Yes, we must stand rock solid with the judiciary and the judges. We must protect the independence of the judiciary too. What does this mean in the present context of a very serious charge of sexual harassment levelled by a former employee of the court against the CJI?  We are told that there is a larg

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement,

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter