The Telegraph
Friday , January 31 , 2014
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Call cheap cabs at doorstep

Dial a number, wait for 20 minutes and reach your destination in comfort and style without burning a hole in the pocket.

Residents can now hire cabs at a rate less than what normal taxis (see graphic) available in the city charge.

Last week, Quick Cab rolled out 20 Nanos, promising round-the-clock services. Apart from the existing normal taxi services, several other services such as Radio Taxi and prepaid three-wheeler services were earlier launched in the city. However, they could not achieve much success owing to poor response. The Quick Cab service has provided residents another opportunity to travel at reasonable rates but does not compromise on comfort and response time.

Promising prompt and seamless services, Quick Cab director A.K. Singh told The Telegraph: “Initially, we have launched 20 Nano cabs in Patna with round-the-clock services between Danapur and Patna City. The hiring charges are reasonable, which I think people can easily afford.”

Over the next six months, Quick Cab plans to expand its existing fleet of cabs by adding 50 Nanos to it.

Residents also appreciated the Quick Cab service except their apprehensions about carrying heavy luggage.

“I used the Quick Cab service last week. What I liked especially, was that the car could even enter narrow roads, whereas normal cabs cannot. It also saves time because it can easily move through the heavily congested roads of the city. However, my only concern remains that we cannot carry extra and heavy luggage, which we can do in normal taxis,” said Nishant Kumar, a resident of Raja Bazaar.

The Nano cabs, which are equipped with global positioning system (GPS) devices, are monitored from the service control room.

Unlike normal taxis, the whereabouts of which and the driver the proprietors are unaware of, the GPS system helps easy and regular monitoring of their location.

The waiting charge for each Quick Cab is Rs 50 for every half-an-hour apart from the total fare or night fare charged. Booking the Nano service between 9pm and 6am will cost a passenger Rs 200.

“Four persons can travel in the car with two pieces of light luggage. We promise to provide them the best service. All our drivers are skilled and well-trained, they know the roads and localities city very well,” said Singh.

Operators of existing normal taxi services were not willing to be easily feel cowed down by the new challenge thrown by the reasonable Quick Cab service.

The proprietor of Konteya Travels in Kadamkuan, Ashwani Kant, said: “In the past, these kinds of services were introduced. But they hardly made any difference to our business. These services look good in the beginning but cannot survive in the long run. Nano is quite a small car, which can seat four people comfortably. The Quick Cab rates may be less but people would still prefer to bank upon the existing travel agencies.”

But a quick survey threw up a different viewpoint.

Amit Kumar, a resident of Anandpuri, said: “Just two days ago, I hired a normal taxi for Rs 750 to go to New Patna Club on Beer Chand Patel Marg, which is at a distance of around 5km from my residence, with my wife and son to attend a wedding invitation. Had I known about the Quick Cab service, I could easily have hired a Nano, which would have been cheaper by Rs 250 than a regular taxi. The company needs to advertise their services properly. Otherwise, how would the public know about it?”

Elaborating on the response time of Quick Cab service, director Singh said: “Once a resident makes the booking over the phone, the cab will reach the said location between 20 minutes and one hour. Our control room would track the location of the cab nearest to the caller and intimate its driver to reach him. The mileage would be calculated once the passenger boards the car. All the cabs are air-conditioned. Passengers can enjoy AC in summer and blower in winter.”