Women are at the fore and in the driving seat when a new taxi service, Nano Cabs Pvt Ltd, was launched recently.
The yellow -colour Tata Nano cabs – with a GPS tracking system – are operating in the city of Colombo round-the-clock with a fleet of 25 cabs which would be expanded to 200 cabs before the end of this year. The new service has paved the way for female drivers in what has been considered a male-dominated profession. UPFA Parliamentarian Thilanga Sumpathipala, who has promoted this concept representing the Borella district, told the Business Times the company is providing driving jobs for both men and women in Colombo area, without any gender barrier.
He said that an initial investment of Rs. 300 million has been made to launch the service at the initial stage to operate in Colombo and suburban areas. The initial batch of 25 cabs will be introduced and thereafter 50 cabs per month will be put into operation. “Every driver in the fleet is registered with the Police Department to ensure good conduct and discipline with the aim of providing a safe service for customers,” he added.
According to officials of the company, the charges are Rs. 50 per km and reduces up to Rs. 36 per km depending on the distance travelled. “The demand for a clean, safe and economically priced cab service is so high that already we have more hires that we can handle,” Mr Sumathipala said.
All Nano Cabs will be equipped with a meter which will dispense a receipt for the hire. The GPS system installed will enable drivers to find the shortest possible route to the specified destination, making it certain that no unnecessary mileage is billed to the customer. Further, when a Nano cab is dispatched through the system, it can be tracked to find where the cab is at any point in time. Nano Cabs are air conditioned, each passenger is insured for Rs. 250,000.00 and the facility of paying through a credit card is also available. Further, all pre booked vehicles will be at the customers’ pick up point five minutes prior to departure, company officials said.