RTO registers 32,345 cabs in 2018
Number of cabs in city increased 5 times since 2015
PUNE: From 5,678 in March 2015, Pune has over 32,345 registered cabs with Regional Transport Office (RTO) now. Least to say the reason behind this drastic increase is the advent of mobile-based ride-hailing services and a not-so-robust public transport system in the city.
As per the figure provided by the RTO, till the end of the year 2018, as many as 32,345 cabs were registered which is 9,649 more than the previous year. In 2017, the RTO had registered only 22,696 cabs. The Pimpri-Chinchwad RTO had registered 30,000 cabs and adding to it with Pune the number was over 62,345 till 2018.
The absence of a multi-modal public transport system in the city and Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal’s (PMPML) inability to capture new passengers are the reasons for the massive growth in taxi numbers. Sources said Pune is one of the fastest growing markets in India for cab aggregators Ola and Uber. “We received a huge number of registration applications for cabs in the city as it is currently on demand. The passengers want a safe and secure journey within the city. If the public transport system had been well functioning then we wouldnt do cabs registration. Cab driving is also providing jobs. The youths coming from outside the city are also earning through cab service,” said a senior officer of the RTO.
The number shows that till the end of the March 2015, the registration of cabs was very low and the high number private four-wheelers had registered in that year.
However, the number of cab registration had doubled in 2016. Similarly, this has passed 22,696 in March 2017. However, the number of cab registration in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area was more than Pune. The Pimpri-Chinchwad RTO registered 17,075 in March 2015; 20,685 in March 2016; 24,376 in March 2017 and 27,613 till end of 2018.
The cab aggregator model is thriving due to passengers’ demand. What the government can do is introduce dynamic pricing for individual passengers and cheaper fares for those who opt for shared mobility, said a transport activist. Operating a cab is generating jobs and it provides more income than other unorganised sectors. The driver, mostly the youths, leave their city due to non-availability of jobs and move to Pune for a better life. Most of the drivers are earning Rs 20,000 to 25,000 per month which is a good amount, the activist said.