Fleet Auto Rickshaw Service launched in Rajkot
Rajkot Municipal Corporation together with Nirmal Foundation and EMBARQ India will bring into existence the first ever fleet of auto rickshaw services in the city…
The function was attended by a number of other dignitaries who attended this inauguration ceremony wherein auto rickshaw services will be provided under an organized and unified brand name and image. Rajkot currently has over 12,000 auto rickshaws which are run by individual operators.
Having a fleet organization will help these operators in a number of ways with regard to running of the auto rickshaws in a more economical and profitable manner while offering quality service to customers. This would go a long way in improving the image of auto rickshaws while also tackling issues of maintenance and empty runs which usually cause a drain on rickshaw owner’s meager funds.
Nirmal Foundation will implement this project under the brand name G-Auto. Similar projects are already under way and running successfully in Ahmedabad, Baroda and Gandhinagar. This fleet service will officially take off today and will bring together passengers and rickshaw drivers while at the same time offering safe, honest and reliable services to commuters. Auto rickshaw drivers have sometimes been in the news for looting and scooting from hapless passengers and newcomers to the city and this fleet service will benefit both parties while also instilling confidence in the minds of commuters.
Read the press release below for more information.
Auto News Release
Re-Organising Rickshaws in Rajkot
RAJKOT | 12 JULY 2012: The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), in partnership with Nirmal Foundation and EMBARQ India are set to launch Rajkot’s first ever fleet auto-rickshaw service in the city tomorrow, 13th July 2012. In May 2012, the three organisations formalised a key partnership to implement this project. The launch will be inaugurated by Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Minister of Urban Development, Government of Gujarat, and will also be attended by Shri Janakbhai Kotak, Mayor of Rajkot, Shri Ajay Bhadoo, Commissioner, RMC, Shri Govindbhai Patel, MLA, Smt. Bhanuben Babaria, MLA, Shri Dhansukhbhai Bhanderi, President, Rajkot BJP, and other stakeholders in the transportation sector.
Fleet organisation is an approach that involves providing auto-rickshaw services under an organised and unified brand name and image. Rajkot’s unorganised auto-rickshaw sector currently has 12,000 auto-rickshaws providing contract carriage services provided by individual operators. “Fleet organisation in the auto-rickshaw sector in Rajkot would address key challenges like poor public perception, informal fares, lack of employment benefits to drivers, and operational inefficiencies like empty trips ad lack of regular maintenance of the vehicles” says Akshay Mani, Project Manager – Integrated Urban Transport, EMBARQ India. A distinct brand image would improve public perception, and the quality of service offered.
Nirmal Foundation will be responsible for implementing the project under the brand name G-Auto, which already runs successful services in Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Gandhi Nagar, with over 10,000 rickshaw drivers. Owing to its experience in the sector, G-Auto was selected by RMC, with support from EMBARQ India, as a strategic partner to implement fleet auto-rickshaw services in Rajkot following an invitation for proposals (IOP) from prospective bidders in November 2011. Since then, the three agencies have worked together to launch this service in Rajkot.
While G-Auto will be responsible for implementing the project, and setting up operational systems for the same, RMC is committed to providing seed funding, infrastructural support, and stakeholder management for the duration of the project. EMBARQ India will continue to support RMC, offering technical advice and expertise on all aspects relating to improving the quality of fleet auto-rickshaw services, including monitoring and evaluating the project on an on-going basis.
The services are slated to be officially launched tomorrow with a pilot fleet, and will scale up over the next few months, connecting passengers to rickshaw drivers, offering honest, safe and reliable auto-rickshaw services to the people of Rajkot.
EMBARQ India is part of the EMBARQ network that includes centres in Mexico, the Andes, Brazil, Turkey and China. EMBARQ seeks to catalyse and help implement sustainable mobility solutions to improve quality of life and protect the environment. EMBARQ is the urban transport initiative of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think-tank founded in 1982 in Washington D.C., USA. EMBARQ India has been actively promoting the development of sustainable transport in a number of Indian cities, its projects and research work spans various fields, like bus operations; Bus Rapid Transit; road safety audits; transit oriented development; station accessibility; non-motorised transport; and para-transit services. EMBARQ India also works actively in the areas of research and policy for sustainable transport.