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I do not own a private vehicle and that makes me an avid user of public transportation for my daily traveling. The buses and microvans are usually over-stuffed. There is no space even to land a foot and introduction of new hi-tech buses like Mahanagar, Sajha, City metro, Orange have not helped much. The only option available now is the taxi. There are more than 8000 taxis plying in the road of the valley and one can find it easily.
The easy availability is one part but on the other hand, taxis are very expensive to afford. One has to think more than twice to hire a taxi. The taxis charge more than double of the price quoted by the concerned authority. In the absence of a strong regulatory body, there is a monopoly of cab drives in reciting the price. Although, there has been a meter system installed to trace the distance traveled and a price to pay for every taxi but it never comes into use. The cab driver decides his own rate and one always has to bargain. If the passenger wants to travel by a meter then there is straight denial from the driver.
With the introduction of the new electronic billing system in taxis, there was a hope of this issue getting addressed. This also did not help. The taxis installed with this system also do not agree to travel in meter and there is the same old pattern repeated. The traffic police had come very hard once to regulate the taxi meter operation but it only continued for few weeks and vanished.
Once has to quarrel with the driver, face heated arguments, and check the price with many taxis to make a journey. The concerned authority must carry out an intensive work to make taxis price uniform. The cab owners defying the rules must be brought into custody and made to pay a heavy fine. There should be no stones left unturned for the proper management of taxis as they are popular emergency vehicles other than ambulance.
The taxis should be managed properly which is currently lacking at the moment. There should be an end to bargain system, meter problem, and customers should be handed a bill. In addition, the cab drivers should display their identification card along with the payment one has to make for every kilometer traveled.