Goa govt to provide financial assistance to new taxi operators

Goa govt to provide financial assistance to new taxi operators

PANAJI: Amidst a tussle between traditional tourist taxi operators and app-based service providers in Goa, the state government Wednesday announced a scheme which proposes to provide financial assistance to the locals for buying vehicles for operating a taxi service.

Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman Dayanand Sopte told reporters the financial scheme was aimed at providing employment to the Goans who can now buy vehicles with the government assistance.

He said the vehicle purchased could be converted into taxis.

Traditional taxi operators in Goa, which attracts lakhs of domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year, have been opposing ‘Goa Miles’, the app-based taxi service introduced by the GTDC in August last year.

Amidst protests, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had asked the tourist taxi operators to join the app-based service on a trial basis for a month before forming their opinion about it.

Sopte said the app-based taxi service is an accepted norm across the world and in rest of the country.

“Even those Goans who go to other cities use the app-based taxi service and they are happy about it,” he said, adding that such taxi service is beneficial for the development of tourism in the coastal state.

Sopte claimed that the service has been gaining popularity since its introduction.

“We started with 55 taxis and now the number has reached 1500. All taxi operators in this service are Goans. In the first month (of launch), it was just 1400 trips but the number reached to 14,000 in December. It has touched 20,000 trips in June,” he said. PTI

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