Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mumbai Taximen’s Union Steps Up After Meter Jam – Starts Online Forum

Mid-day recently took the initiative by providing a number where commuters could call in and report the license plate number and the driver’s license number of an errant cabbie. Through this many cab drivers lost their licenses but the problem failed to cease. Now the Mumbai Taximen’s Union has finally taken notice and has decided to start an online forum where commuters can report arrogant and errant cabbies.

Why now? Mumbai Taximen’s Union speaks up

According to the Union, movements like Meter Jam have affected the “relationship” between cab drivers and commuters. According to them, the new website which will be launched in January next year, will help better communication between the two parties.

Will this work?

I may be extremely skeptical here but I highly doubt this is going to work. Cab drivers have, and always will, refuse commuters. At airports, commuters are not charged by the meter but rather an arbitrary amount that the cab driver feels right at the moment. Some have excuses like “I am getting late for lunch”, to “I am running out of gas”, or the more blatant “I can’t go there”. Will the forum really help change any of this?

Forums are a great way to put in complaints. Delhi police even resorted to Facebook to reach out to the community. Online forums and groups are a great way for the law and unions like the Mumbai Taximen’s Union to hear the grievances of the people. However, how much it will help the community is very much up for debate.

Do you think such forums are a boon or just a gimmick to let off some pressure?

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