Now women to feel safe while travelling in a private cab! Of the many things done for women’s safety, a private radio taxi service company has come out with an additional safety feature called the ‘trip tracker service’.
Under the service, it will send SMS alerts every few minutes about the location of the cab to a number provided by the woman passenger - which could that of a family member, relative or friend. The radio taxis with the SMS-based ‘trip tracker service’ have been launched by Meru Cabs across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
The step, the cab service feels, will instill a sense of security and assurance for the women passengers and to their loved ones. This first of its kind initiative is an opt-in service and available free of charge to all customers.
On activating the ‘trip tracker service’, an SMS alert at the beginning of the trip including the customer name, trip start-time and area where the trip began will be sent. Secondly, regular SMS will be sent every 15 minutes during the journey with details of the location of the cab and lastly, an SMS alert will be sent at the end of the trip with the location where the trip ended.
Talking to Metrolife Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs says, “Our most important factor is the safety of passengers – be it child, senior citizens or women. And after the December rape incident, we started getting a lot of queries relating to safety issues of women and that is how this began started.
We also train our drivers in such a manner that they don’t misbehave with women passengers. Their training consists of basic etiquettes like opening the door for them, not adjusting the rear view mirror, speak politely from a safe distance, etc. We also do thorough a background check of our drivers.”
Neeru Sood, an interior designer feels this can be a blessing in disguise for women commuters. “I have an erratic working schedule and have to commute at short notice anytime. And I travel a lot by cabs because of their anytime service. So, this latest SMS thing can really be helpful for my mother who is always tense when I take cabs.”
One can avail this facility while booking a cab, through their call center wherein an option is made available to the customer to provide a ‘tracking number’ to which the SMS alerts will be sent. This alternate number will be stored in the customer’s personal account and can be activated or deactivated anytime through the call center or website.
Another young working girl, Shatabdi Biswas, a freelance designer, too gives sleepless nights to her parents because of late night travel. “This could give some relief to my parents. My profile is such that I cannot avoid appointments, be it late night and for this, cabs are the best options. This facility will give them some confidence.”