- Published: 24 March 2023
Local transport within a city and nearby in Goa is a challenging problem if you do not own or drive a vehicle. Citizens need to move within the cluster for several purposes like going to work, school, shopping, business, office etc. Simply there are no means available beyond some level. The intra-city bus services, unlike in other cities, in Goa are just rudimentary and auto rickshaws, if available, then they are only at a specified stand. One has to go there first. Today’s newspaper had good news that the government is trying to induct 1000 more taxis in Goa. That’s fine for long-distance travellers but what about short distances say, one or 2 Km? We need more auto-rickshaws, waiting at the nearest corner or junction, like any other city in India, now battery-operated e-rickshaws will be environmentally friendly and also pocket friendly.
To make auto-rickshaws affordable, the government should come out with a special policy which will help the auto driver to earn more and the customer to travel with ease and comfort from their home/place of need to their destination doing away with the “only at a Stand” policy. In this digital era, everyone with a Smartphone can use a smart application. Once the App is in operation and auto drivers have registered with it they will keep getting customers from wherever they are. To encourage auto drivers to join such apps the government should work out some simple incentives. With this change, a rickshaw will be available at half the rates, as it will be waiting near residential or shopping areas and generally can come to a location within minutes.
Using apps is one solution but to reduce the traffic density on the road and increase ease of leaving, the government should come out with innovative solutions. One such initiative the government should take is to make available many more rickshaws - electrical - on the roads. Of course, experts in the field can estimate how many e-rickshaws are needed for each cluster of major towns of Goa; but one thing is certain more auto-rickshaws on the road, fewer will be private vehicles on the roads, more people on the road, and more business on streets. Due to many issues, customers will not get rickshaws and their business get remunerative only if they move more, and make more trips during the day. This aspect needs to be attended to by policy change by the government.
To give employment to youth, the government may consider buying such electrical rickshaws and giving on loan to them with certain terms and conditions. Each cluster of major towns can easily absorb say 100 rickshaws initially and the number can be increased with experience and repayment of loans. Such e-rickshaws will be environment friendly as they will not use fossil fuel, convenient as easily available at the required place based on the location from the App and cheap as no double charge will be there. There is no reason why this scheme will not be successful.
With app-based e-rickshaws available at door steps at affordable rates, not only those who cannot afford or drive a vehicle may get mobility but even those who are driving vehicles may choose the e-rickshaw option for ease of travelling considering parking issues and thereby reducing vehicles on the congested roads of the city. The benefits of such changes are government can improve the ease of living, give employment to youth, reduce carbon footage of the state and many more. What a smart city, if it does not have a smart transportation plan for the inmates!
Autor(en)/Author(s): Kamlesh Vora
Quelle/Source: Herald Goa, 17.03.2023