Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh on Thursday flagged off around 150 tourism taxis in the city.
The tourism department plans to distribute 1,470 taxis to those belonging to the economically weaker section of society this year.
Speaking to DH, Priyanka Mary Francis, Tourism Director said every year taxis are given away to empower people, especially in districts. This year, the target is to distribute 1,470 taxis, and the candidates are chosen after scrutiny by the selection committee in each district. Then deputy commissioners will finalise it. She said a subsidy of Rs three lakh would be given to drivers to purchase the taxis. Also, while the driver has to pay 5% of the taxi cost, the department will share the rest.
These taxis are different from the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) ones that operate to and fro from the airport. However, these taxi drivers can also use the KSTDC logo to ferry passengers and tourists to the airport. They are given a permit to travel anywhere.
The candidates are chosen based on their income, loan capability and driving licence badge. They should also be at least class 10 pass. This time a few candidates have been chosen from Bengaluru and while preference has been given to those from other districts, said tourism department officials.