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Autorickshaw - Case for a decent service and good business model!

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Public Transport

Background

Mere mention of word 'Auto' starts ringing the bell of many different voice. Don't these voices sound familiar?

....Auto drivers seem to create the maximum of problems in Bangalore. Where should we start?

...They drive very rash driving. And hitting anyone on bike or on foot, their brotherhood (other auto drivers) tend to support them.

...Most of the times not ready to go for short distances or to the places where they do not want to go. I think they are legally supposed not to deny for any place and a fine-system is also there if they deny to go somewhere.

Courtesy - MyBangalore.com

Have you ever paid Rs 200 for an autorickshaw to take you from Indiranagar to MG Road? That is what passengers had to do on Friday, thanks to the auto strike. They separately paid the amount the meter displayed even if they were sharing a ride; the fare comes to Rs 50 on any other day.

Source - Times Of India

On the other side we do hear about the plight of the auto drivers,

  • Complaining of ever increasing fuel price, but can't charge more
  • Uncertainty in monthly income
  • Police Harassment
  • Occuptional Hazards - Health, Safety
  • Total Lack of any civic amenities - Toilets, Recess are

The third stakeholder, Government, has its own story to tell:

Most autorickshaws are not owned by drivers. They run them on daily rent. Once his shift is completed, the driver should leave the vehicle at the owner’s house and return. Many drivers make up for the “dry runs” by charging the commuter double the meter fare.  The police feel the autorickshaw drivers’ unions shouldn’t oppose modernisation. The unions are against the use of GPRS systems and mobile linked facilities such as those in the airport taxis. “If we don’t address these problems, things will never improve even after 50 years from now,” points out Sood.

Courtesy - Deccan Herald

 

An autorishaw service that we all aspire for!

Given this background let me try to lay a case for the need to have better auto/taxi service system in city of Bengaluru. Gone are the days wherein PT services can operate in their own insulated worlds. This is an era of inter-connectivity and cross-connectivity. Each one of the PT services should be complimenting not competing each other. Clearly the time has come for reforms in this sector. One important aspect and reality about 'Auto Rickshaw' is, it is an integral part of the public transport system in any urban/semi-urban setting.

Stake Holders

  1. Government - Custodian, Regulator, Enforcer, Facilitator
  2. Commuter - Customer, sole source of income
  3. Service Providers - Auto Rikshaws Owner, Driver

High level Objectives

For Commuters

  • Good Reliable Service
  • Guaranteed Ride - No Refusal
  • Market Regulated Fare
  • Choices - Immediate On street, On Schedule
  • Dependable and safe ride

For Service Providers (owner and driver)

  • Fair and transparent licensing system
  • Decent Financing options
  • Guaranteed returns on investment
  • Guaranteed monthly income for the operator/driver
  • Toilet/Recess Facilities across city
  • Personal and Vehicle Safety
  • Personal Benefits - Health Insurance, Life Insurance
  • Transparent system for fixing meter charges

Government

  • Framework for auto rickshaw service regulation, operation, Licensing and enforcement
  • Framework for transparent system of fixing meter charges in tune with market costs
  • Provision for technology and system to aid regulation of the service
  • Provisioning of commuter and service provider grievance system
  • Co-ordination of different departments - Police, RTO,

Is it possible to design a decent business model which can deliver the above listed objectives? I am sure yes, we can.

Let us throw some ideas here.

Comments

idontspam's picture

Good start

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Good post, I think its appropriate for all to get access to work done by CiSTUP, IISC in this regard, hope someone from there will post their study or excerpts from the study for us to understand & analyse with additional data

kbsyed61's picture

Studies!

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There are some studies found on Internet, but not from any known or famous institutes like IISs, CiSTUP etc. Nothing in Bangalore.

Source - Centre for Civil Society  - An Incite Into Auto-rickshaw Services in Dharwad: Poor Drivers & Rusted Three Wheelers.

Source - Centre for Civil Society  - Auto-rickshaws in Delhi: Murder by Regulation

kbsyed61's picture

CiSTUP Website!

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Didn't find ant report or publications on CiSTUP? Have they published anything since its inception?

kbsyed61's picture

A study from EMBARQ!

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Courtesy - EMBARQ

Assessing the role of rickshaws in sustainable urban transport for Indian Cities - By Madhav Pai.

 

kbsyed61's picture

Socially Responisble Business study- Researchers from Texas!

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Source - EMBARQ's The City Fix

Socially Responsible Business for India’s Auto Rickshaws

By

In March 2010, my team of five U.S. MBA students had the opportunity to connect with a sector of society that was previously unknown to us – the auto rickshaw drivers of India. As part of our Global Connections course through the University of Texas at Austin, the team carried out a micro-consulting project with the Centre for Sustainable Transport in India (CST-India), a member of the EMBARQ Network (the producer of this blog) to analyze the auto rickshaw industry. Our intent was to capture the challenges and disconnect between two very different industry players: auto rickshaw drivers and auto rickshaw (or three-wheeler) manufacturers. In addition to extensive research on the auto rickshaw sector, the study incorporated 26 driver interviews that were carried out in Bangalore, as well as interviews with the prominent three-wheeler manufacturers.

Naveen's picture

Writeup about the "Auto"

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I had posted this previously here ... think it's worth a re-reading : 

Roads in India defy order & logic of any kind. The Indian road is mostly a dirt track & provides an avenue for hawking, parking, garbage dumping, etc. & struggles to attempt to provide a corridor for transportation amidst the chaos & anarchy.

And at its heart, playing a key role is the Auto-Rickshaw, a three-wheeler commonly referred to as “Auto”, the only such being of its kind, perhaps in the universe. The “Auto” does indeed seem so naturally & effortlessly Indian on all counts – by appearance, by its noise, (lack of) road manners, pollution & its indisciplined & unpredictable movements.

The auto is the Indian urban rat, a wily, crafty creature that dribbles its way through the Indian urban sewer. The auto deals with the road on a second-by-second basis, recognizing that the Indian road is the abode of constantly changing circumstances. Twisting & turning all along its way through traffic, chaos & mankind in no particular order, every inch of territory on the Indian road is fought for & gained not by courage but by guile & cunning. The auto defies the idea that the road is a straight line but sees it as a chessboard, contemplating its next move based on obstacles on it’s path & options available, however crooked they may seem.

In many ways, the auto is perfectly at home in twisty by-lanes. ‘Gullies’ & ‘Mohallas’ seem like the perfectly natural neighborhood for the auto. The auto mimics their lack of linearity with “Made for each other” ease. In fact, even on straight roads the auto contrives somehow to avoid the sense of linearity by sheer habit as it zigzags & wriggles along, as it makes progress.

The auto, like most other things in India, always seeks to subvert order & insinuate itself wherever & whenever it can – it is common to see an auto climbing up a footpath or divider & get ahead of other more patient road vehicles. One can commonly sight an auto going in the opposite direction on a one way road, or even through a stop or red signal, appearing to go unnoticed & without ruffling any feathers. The auto also brings to us a vastly enhanced sense of sub-atomic distances by intruding so close to the vehicle ahead that limits seem not just to have been tested, but to have vanished & distances, spaces & gaps seem to have disappeared, & yet, miraculously, no contact was made.

The auto, with the least effective wheel suspensions, is also a vehicle that transmits the topography of the Indian road into the passengers’ innards, converting travel over road bumps, potholes, debris, pebbles, stones, etc. into an efficient digestive experience.

The key to understanding the auto is to understand its design. The principle governing its design is perhaps the overwhelming view of compromise being not a lesser choice, but an inevitable & ideal choice. All else be damned, but cost has to be minimum – even, miniscule. Vehicle noise & some air pollution are quite natural & acceptable on the Indian road, as long as they don’t immediately damage ears or lungs. The speed the auto is capable of traveling has been carefully chosen – It is significantly faster than a cycle, but lesser than that of cars or other wastefully expensive means of transportation. If this were looked at from the reality of Indian roads, it travels at the “ideal speed”. Take the case of its suspension – this too is self-limiting for its speed – if the auto travels too fast, one’s insides would mimic that of a violent food processor.

The speed of the engine is thus made slower, but cheaper & in line with the Indian road & Indian circumstances. The engine seems to have been perfected to the ultimate & is versatile & very efficient to serve it’s purpose. It can use all kinds of adulterated fuel, even adulterated kerosene or adulterated diesel. And it can run for indefinite periods without lubricating oil & /or cooling water. What’s more, the auto can also be used as a mobile rest house for overnights at remote locations where it has ended the day in its wanderings.

The auto is a shanty on wheels & represents the idea of personal transportation promising to offer protection against the elements, without offering any guarantees. In a larger sense, the auto accurately captures the “hybrid mongrel“ nature of Indian towns. It also affirms the Indian belief that life is hard, but there can always be a way around it. And circumstances will compel you to yield to trusting an auto to take you where you want to go – Sort of.

kbsyed61's picture

No diasgreement!

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Naveen,

Thanks for pointing to the discussions on auto. It's an interesting post with lots of information about dyanmics of autos in Indian setting. As you have righty said, 'Autos' are integral part of Urban/Semi-Urban transport setting. Now you see them even in remote villages. In fact they are filling into the gaps left by the road transport corporations due to cancelled routes citing profit concerns. Fail tounderstand the 'profit' concern in public enterprise providing public service as important as 'Bus Service'.

The attempt here is to come up with some service models that makes sound business sense also and is win-win situation for citizens/commuters & the auto owner/drivers.

-Syed

Naveen's picture

Why are Autos this way ?

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I think in all developing countries, autos & "decent service and good business model" do not go together, simply because driving autos is usually for the uneducated  /unemployed, who seek some means of survival - in most cases, they do not own vehicles, but 'hire' & drive them on daily basis. They have no formal training & no benefits like health coverage, which cost money.

If corporatization or regulated services are attempted, in most cases, it will fail (like Eazy auto, which failed within a few months of launch) as costs for remote management to prevent leakage of revenues add up. Added to this, some 'strong-arm' methods are also required to manage auto drivers as they are uneducated & will always tend to go after the 'fast buck'. So, why would they work for a regulated, formal company when they can do better by employing other means by hiring & driving ?

 

Unregulated autos in Mumbai are much more disciplined & seldom demand excess fare. Why ? Many reasons :
1) Public transport with local trains is far more efficient & dependable.
2) Distances travelled by users are much smaller - usually, only to or from rail or bus stations.
3) Auto users are far fewer -- the city consists of over 60% living in slums.

Now, look at Bangalore :
1) No trains /Metro yet, therefore no fast /dependable transport, other than buses that are inefficient in traffic.
2) Distances travelled are very large.
3) Auto users are probably the largest for any city in the country, particularly due to much higher incomes.

All this make the Auto somewhat indispensable in Bangalore, for now - too many chasing them, providing them with many opportunities to fleece customers & dictate terms.

The only proper & permanent solution is for the city to have several modes of good & reliable transport, like Metro, BRT & commuter trains, that are not traffic dependent for efficiency.

Naveen's picture

Limits for losses too

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they are filling into the gaps left by the road transport corporations due to cancelled routes citing profit concerns

They may be filling gaps with cancelled routes, but efficiency of buses is far lower than autos in traffic, at least for the present, in Bangalore.

It's also a fact that there can be no city without taxi service (+autos in most of Asia). Public transport can never be door to door for anyone. There will always be some sections for whom door to door service is a necessity, such as when one has luggage, old people, families with small children, those in a hurry & willing to pay for the service, etc.

Fail to understand the 'profit' concern in public enterprise providing public service as important as 'Bus Service'

I think there are limits to losses, even with public services, beyond which the services become unviable. Feeders for Metro is perhaps a good example.

kbsyed61's picture

Shouldn't be attempted?

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Naveen,

Are you suggesting that reform of 'Auto' service is waste of time and effort? It shouldn't be attempted? Past failures likes Easy Auto need not be true at all times?

It is said failures are stepping stones for the success. Provided lessons are learned from failures and a course correction is undertaken.

-Syed

idontspam's picture

Unregulated autos in Mumbai

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Unregulated autos in Mumbai are much more disciplined & seldom demand excess fare. 

Asked atleast 7 autos & 4 taxis in Bandra to go to Ville Parle about a month ago. Only one agreed and at a fixed fare of his choosing. Not different from Bangalore at all.

This is why I believe any reform attempted should not be at the current set of folks who have a legacy of running a particular way. Complications in their life will kill their business model. Like you say they are disorganized for a reason.

A new service started under a different setup will have better chances of survival. Like say a share auto service with Tata magic type vehicles run by  BMRCL for select zones of operation like local last mile upto 3kms. In this there is differentiation in rolling stock, route restrictions & corporatization all of which will allow us to try new stuff like smart cards, tracking, diciplined metering etc. What say?

Naveen's picture

Auto Regulation

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Past failures likes Easy Auto need not be true at all times...It is said failures are stepping stones for the success

Syed - Perfectly true & couldn't agree with this more. The grim reality is that corporatization of autos maybe too difficult since profits, if any will be too meagre due to high pilferage of revenues. A better course may be to try to regulate them with more severe penalties & punishment if excess is demanded. However, to get this to yield results, ultimately, it is in our hands as citizens to assist in the effort & complain at every instance without hesitation. The truth is that the majority of auto users pay up excess than meter fare. Taking advantage, the auto unions are also allowed to grow stronger. Unless this jinx is broken, it is bound to be an uphill task - no harm in trying, though.

Asked atleast 7 autos & 4 taxis in Bandra to go to Ville Parle about a month ago. Only one agreed and at a fixed fare of his choosing. Not different from Bangalore at all. 

This maybe true, but I used autos throughout my stay in Mumbai & had far fewer problems with them than in Bangalore. On rainy days, of course they demanded 150-200 rs for what normally costs 25rs !

A new service started under a different setup will have better chances of survival. Like say a share auto service with Tata magic type vehicles run by  BMRCL for select zones of operation like local last mile upto 3kms. In this there is differentiation in rolling stock, route restrictions & corporatization all of which will allow us to try new stuff like smart cards, tracking, diciplined metering etc. What say? 

The idea looks great, but to get this to work may be quite a challenge.

idontspam's picture

but to get this to work may

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but to get this to work may be quite a challenge

Mostly regulatory, they should firstly not be called autos, they are more like a mini bus, so they will not run under an auto license but more like a bus stage carrier license or something else new

Having said that it should be privately operated, it has to have certain basic charestristics like GPS & Smartcards fitted. The vehicle data will be constantly tracked by the regulator & payouts based on the data generated by the GPS/smart card. Minimumum trip committments/headway can be tracked by GPS, smartcard can give load factor & allow for per passenger revenue sharing. IF these 2 equipment on board are not working operator will not recieve any payouts for that bus/auto, that way you enforce automation based service level enforcement.

Naveen's picture

What about costs ?

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Having said that it should be privately operated, it has to have certain basic charestristics like GPS & Smartcards fitted. The vehicle data will be constantly tracked by the regulator & payouts based on the data generated by the GPS/smart card. Minimumum trip committments/headway can be tracked by GPS, smartcard can give load factor & allow for per passenger revenue sharing. IF these 2 equipment on board are not working operator will not recieve any payouts for that bus/auto, that way you enforce automation based service level enforcement

Very well. We are deviating from the subject of autos, but anyway, how about operating cost/s vs. revenues - the basics that must be considered when planning services ?

I had done some rudimentary, back of the envelope calculations here. I think the costs will go way too high for patronization levels to be maintained - in fact, if costs are higher than bus fares (which they are bound to be if vehicle size is small), there will be no takers.

GPS monitoring & smart card integration will further increase costs.

Enforcement is another challenge. As it is, there are numerous private company owned vans /jeeps that pick up people off bus stops on return /empty trips & the driver charges about 8-10rs. (unaccounted - entirely for his own pocket) from each passenger - about the same as bus fares, else there will be none to board his vehicle.

idontspam's picture

Enforcement is another

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Enforcement is another challenge

We are unable to do any enforcement on the unorganized auto services anyway. Any enforcement will only be a step up from here. What do we need to enforce? Its a huge laundry list running since the beginning of time on these threads. We have found even BMTC have behavioural issues. Yesterday a bus driver ran over some people and was administered "justice" by the people. Anyway this thread is not about BMTC its wether the current autos take up these reforms or we get a new service politically different so it can run on new rules.

Let us list what needs to be enforced. 

Dangerous behaviour/driving on the streets - This dangerous driving has largely been solved because congestion does not allow speed anyway. On empty streets cars (especially taxis) drive more dangerously than any public transport. Have we banned taxis because they drive dangerously? No we put speed guns on them instead. Licensed auto agencies will be given training on driving behaviour & the form factor of the vehicle will not allow for the kind of manuvering that three wheeled autorikshaws are famous for. Zone of operation being 3 to 5kms within collector & local streets with main roads being used for connecting or going across does not allow for crazy driving on main roads. GPS also captures avg speed travelled by each identified vehicle which can be used to penalize the operator or even cancel his license.

Overcharging/mischarging customers - Smart cards will reduce cahs transfer & allow the central regulator to use statistics to determine when commuters were boarded & how much they were charged. Every tap is registered directly in systems which will be the basis of determining if load factors during peak & off peak were as per service levels. Common mobility cards will determine what will be the fare sharing between modes & who fed whom.

Under provisioning of services - GPS will leave a trail of which auto went where & at what time. The backend data will be the sole means of determining how many services were provisioned, on what route, by which auto & at what headway. 

  Technology has answers but is not being relied upon because it is optional now. Right now Bus/Auto will run without it also. Once you make all payouts tied to the data provided by these technologie things will fall in place.  

Coming to profitability, In your calculation mileage is assumed to be 10KMPL. Tata magic gives 20KMPL in city so costs reduce by half. EMI will also be 30% lower in retail & upto 50% less in bulk lowering the cost even further. GPS units can be procured under a bulk scheme unit costs will be very low. Smart cards have already been issued by the metro. Over a period of 30 years these costs are not significant.

Its probably time for a pilot to test this theory & put to rest all speculations. Proof is in the pudding, no?

PS: Share auto is already running in Suranjan Das road on the old airport road end, they charge flat Rs 20 for the 4 kms from each pax. Upto 5 pax are squeezed even on the drivers seat getting him a neat Rs 100 per trip. With around 6 autos they are always full during peak hours. They in fact carry more peak hour pasengers to Bagmane tech park than the metro. 

Anithasunil's picture

Sharing Autos

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I commute to Mahadevpura, daily. Since there are a lot of volvos to ITPL, the best route for me turns out to be using the bus till graphite india, and taking an auto for the last 1.5 km stretch. On this stretch, where the frequency of BMTC buses are too low, there are a group of about 5 autowalas, who are stationed on either side. They charge a flat Rs20/- for this stretch. Sometimes, they take more than one person, and each person pays Rs20/- . But, they do not refuse you a ride at rs 20/- even when you are a single passenger. They never take more than 3 passengers either. I am happy, since, I almost always get an auto as soon as I get down from the bus. I do not have to negotiate the charge every time I go for an auto. And, given the consitency of charge, and the assurance of an auto on this stretch, it is good enough for me. 

There was a time, when any auto on this stretch used to ask for upto Rs 50/-. And, at that time, most people (including myself) refused to take an auto. We used to wait for the bus however infrequent it might be, or walk! These days, with the current system, I see more and more people taking autos.

And the more interesting part is that I seldom see these autowalas going for long trips. They seem to be happy with the to and fro traffic on this stretch.
 

I wonder if it is possible to interview these auto drivers, and get to know how all they are facing/overcoming the problems faced by the autowalas.These guys seems to have formed a business case for themselves, and if it can be replicated for different parts of the city, that will be good. And more autowalas will take it seriously when members of their tribe are talking about the model, and how it works.
 

I am not able to talk more than necessary to them, for the lack of language skills :(

On the other hand, I have a route which will save me atleast 30 minutes each way, compared to the ITPL route. I can some on the bus till EMC2 on outer ring road (and thus escape all the marathahalli, kundenahalli, graphite india traffic blocks), and take an auto for the last 3km stretch (through a short cut - ghosala road). Unfortunately, there is no ferrying service from the autowalas on this stretch, and the negotiation usually starts from rs80/- to rs 100/-. And for this reason, I do not see many people form my office taking autos on this route!
 

If it was possible to induce some auto drivers to take up the same model as the graphite india - mahadevpura stretch, I would be happy!!
 

I have seen other business models as well. The last 1 km stretch near my home has infrequent bmtc services. There are quite a few apartments about 1km from themain road, and the autowalas here go for a sharing system. You get dropped at the apartments (or nearby) by paying a charge of Rs 10/- the charge remains the same, even when there are 5 passengers in the auto (three on the seat, and one on either side of the driver). The model is flawed from a safety perspective. But, considering the 50 speed breakers, and the speeds at which vehicles move on this road, and the fact that most passengers on this road are daily wage earners / labourers etc, it seems fair enough! At least it provides an assured means of transport, at an affordable cost, for the last mile.  I guess this is similar to the sunranjandaas road auto sharing that was mentioned, with the difference that here, the cost benefit is passed on to the passengers to some extend.. And that seems to be because on Suranjandas road, "techies" seem to be a good part of the crowd, whereas on the stretch I was talking about, it is mostly daily wage earners!
 

I would have preferred it, if they would take no more than three passengers at the same rate.. If that is too much to ask for take rs 15/- per passenger, and make sure that no more than 3 passengers are made to travel in a trip..
 

What I would want is an affordable means of transport, which is predictable as well. I do not want the hazzle of negotiating the charge every time, and there should be some consistency. Paying upto 1.5 times the meter charge is ok with me most of the times! It is when it goes beyond 1.5 or double, that my blood starts boiling :(
 

Concept of "HOME" stand

Another thing I have noticed is that In bangalore, the territories of autowalas seem to be marked. Usually, when an autowala asks for double charge, since he wont get a return trip, I am amused. They say that for any destination. Even during peak hours, when you travel to MG road, they complain that they wont get a retunr trip!  why is it always necessary to get a return trip? Another trip from the current destination should be good enough!

On the other hand, autodrivers are not allowed to wait at autostands other than their "HOME" stand.. There are instances where, I got an auto by "waving the hand" and not from the auto stands, and the autowalas at the stand objected to it.. (The same graphite india stand!) They abused the non-member of the 'stand' and make sure no other autos picks up passengers from near the stand.. I guess this is one of the reasons autos often claim "return" as the reason to charge more. They really have to return to their "HOME" stand to pick up passengers, or keep running on the road till they get a passenger! 

 
Anithasunil's picture

Possible Praja Initiative

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Can we take up an initiative in a true praja style ;) Instead of waiting for the regulations, and systemic changes, let us try to see what we can do to make it easier..

Whenever we take an auto, and find an "Honest" driver, we can ask them, if they would be willing to take rides on call.. And if they assure us, that they will do it at a small extra cost (since he has to come to ur pick up spot, which involves some additional distance), we can enter their names in a database.. A simple online spreadsheet would be good to start with..

We can try to maintain a spreadsheet, divided into localities where the 'autowalas'  usually operate in. 

We can also use a tracking mechanism, where if any of these autos which come on call charge unfairly.. Given that there would be some anger at the misbehaving autowalas, And that would most probably come as comments or ratings on the spreadsheet, I have some confidence on the trust mechanism. The"tracking the trust" mechanism will be limited to the autos we enroll in our spreadsheet.. 

I do not hope to make a spreadsheet of all the autos in bangalore, and assigning trust numbers to each of them.. A subset, with 3 or 4 phone numbers in every 5km would be good to start with.. Hopefully, if it catches on, we can look at an additional hop, where the autodrivers would refer their "peers/ colleagues" to take some of these trips...

 

 

idontspam's picture

You have identified some key

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You have identified some key structural issues which are what make it unorganized or dificult to organize. Territorial instincts are signs of individual/local group needs taking precedence over systemic survival. The unions were expected to lay down rules for the larger group but their influence is under question. 

Even the share autos today are ad-hoc & not committed services as there is no legal framework governing them. Once you allow these things which are outside agreement later on it becomes difficult to control them.

Before we go to smart cards & GPS here are cerain practical but political steps which will anyway have to be done but can help kickstart wthout technology

Can we restrict autos to certain zone of operation which is local (for example between a Big 10 + big circle pie)?

Can we introduce new shared modes which makes it more low volume public transport than it is now?

If these 2 can be achieved we can bring in predictability in cost by moving it to a fixd fare mode so overchargin etc doesnt  become a issue. Overloading will still be an issue but it will become local to the zone of operation. Technology is best here as it can be monitored from a central place but nevertheless the above 2 has to be done anyway if we agree where autos fit in our overall transport scenario. 

Strategically I dont see autos being the cross town players in the future, they have a vital role in local zone of influence. We need to agree on this first, then we go on to define zones etc.

srinidhi's picture

some questions to resolve..

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What if a family of 3 adults and 1 child wants to take an auto from the same location as that of the shared autos..will they put on the meter for them?

Legally autos are not allowed to take more than 3 adult passengers, share autos today violate this..how to regulate it?

The shared auto services currently as discussed above is run by a mafia..how should the policing take care of this..even handling refusal of service?

kbsyed61's picture

Policy Framework!

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Sri,

What has been stated in the comments so far about autos is well known and have been documented in many studies. Now the next step should be to first bring in new policy framework that:

  • Enables the Auto/taxi services in tune with the overall needs of the city.
  • Re-hauling the existing MV Acts to recognize the role of Autos and Taxis in PT system
  • Giving teeth to the new laws with provisions to govern the Auto/taxi service with service requirements, deficient service penal clauses and Public Safety.
  • The new law/policy must address the infrastructure needs of this service - Building Useful Auto/taxi stands, Amenities for recess and rest.
  • Most importantly creating a system and structure that will regulate this service.

-Syed

kbsyed61's picture

Painting with same brush

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Sri,

You will agree with me that not everybody can be painted with same brush to brand every auto driver to be 'mafia'.

Good auto drivers could be in minority but certainly all are not bad. One can empathy with these auto drivers for the life they have to deal with. A number of studies has been done on their plight. Here are couple of them.

 

bialterminal's picture

LoL, the description of an

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LoL, the description of an auto...a few posts ago was hilarious. Jokes apart, the first target for autorickshaws should be hybrid autos which would  target 2 things

 

- cost of ever increasing fuel.

- pollution -> the noise pollution from an auto drives me nuts and deaf; air pollution...well it leaves me out of breath and dying :-)

 

The other things that can be done - 

- Let autos be run by BMTC or other companies and drivers be salaried employees.

- employees should be rewarded by a combination of number of trips they do and distance that they travel & number of passengers that they carry.  This may eleminate some of the "barolla saar" syndrome that is currently there in bangalore where you will have to listerally haggle and coax 10 different auto drivers to go to where you want to go before one of them agree.

I jokingly asked one auto driver once...yelli hogthira saa?. He asked -yaake? with an incredulous and amused look on his face.  I smilingly answered - neevu naan hogod jaagake barolla; so, why not go to where you are going...i will find another auto from there and eventually reach my destination!!!

 

 

kbsyed61's picture

Must See Animated Video

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<The Video has been moved to the main post>

Delhi's vision for future auto service.

Courtesy - http://www.nyayabhoomi.org/

Video Flash Source - Youtube

Naveen's picture

Nice Video

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Syed,

Nice futuristic video to ponder over. The success of Meru & Easy cabs & several other cab companies can of course be attributed to economics of scale & the higher rentals that taxis generally command. Autos in Bangalore (& almost every other city) are now actually charging nearly as much as taxis  - so, why shouldn't it be possible to operate them along the lines shown in the video with GPS, videocams, etc. ?

Quite true, but first, the auto unions must be tackled. They continue arguing that autos are operated by uneducated rural youth that do not have formal training, etc & the govts encourage this by providing quotas for eligibility (& bucks keep changing hands for permits). Unless this obstacle is overcome, the resistance from auto wallahs will continue - & corporatization attempts will keep failing.

The logical first step is therefore to unshackle the hold of the unions & get the govt to come up with innovative ways that indirectly encourage auto regulation.

kbsyed61's picture

Recent Service Models - Part 1

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Disclaimer - The information and analysis given below is purely for comparison and understanding the existing models. It is based on available information from public domains mostly from Internet editions of news items. Therefore beforehand I would like express my deep regret for any discrepancies in analysis information and data, which is purely unintentional.

Easy Auto - Bengaluru
'On call Auto' Service launched by Internet World Wide providing the auto service on Phone Call. Started in PPP model with govt stake holders BTP and RTO. It followed a model wherein the Autos who were interested to join the service and get GPS and radio equipment installed by IWW. In turn they were required to charge Rs. 3/- as the service charge from every passenger and pass it onto the 'easy Auto'. Passengers can call the 'easy Auto' service number, the Easy Communication Center, which in turn relays this information to the available autos in the area. Autos in area would take the request and confirms to passenger via Comm center. Passenger then is picked from his/her house and dropped at the destination. Meter Fare plus Rs.3/- service charge is paid by the passenger.

As things stand, the 'Easy Auto' Telephone number and SMS is not in service. It has fallen aside to be resurrected in near future. The 'Easy Auto' CEO Padmasree Harish lays the blame on Bengaluru Traffic Police and RTO.

Positives:

  • Well intended initiative
  • Provided passengers with convenience of getting the auto ride by calling a number.
  • Opportunity for Autos to get more business

Negatives:

  • Dependent on voluntary joining of autos
  • Unions were vary of another competition - Fear of Change
  • Not a business friendly model as service charge of Rs.3/- to be collected from passengers and then autos were to pass it onto the 'esat Auto'.
  • Except for auto on demand, passengers didn't get any additional service.
  • Auto except for additional passengers, no other needed benefits were there for them like Insurance, Easy credit etc.
  • Service levels were not guaranteed as auto were not own by 'Easy Auto'.


Courtesy - Citizens Matters
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G-Auto - Ahmedabad
Started by Nirmal Foundation run by Nirmal Kumar, an MBA from IIM Ahmedbad. Veru similar to Esay auto by with lots of additional benefits to passengers and more importantly to the auto driver/owner.

Outright it states its service objective of financial upliftment of auto drivers and its owners. It rightly positions itself as "service Provider" thereby making it clear that its success lies in providing passenger friendly service with safety.

Positives

  • Any Time Rikshaw, Airport Express, Tourist Express via Tele Booking 24/7
  • Newspaper, Magazines, City Maps for passengers
  • Receipts for the auto fare
  • Accepts Feedback/Complaints via telephone/SMS.
  • For auto drivers, it offers health insurance, Life Insurance, Credit facility arrangements through Banks, Safe Driving coaching and assistance for children's education.

Negatives

  • Service level not guaranteed as autos are not owned and operated by Nirmal Foundation.

Courtesy - The CityFix

kbsyed61's picture

Recent Service Models - Part 2

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172 users have liked.

Disclaimer - The information and analysis given below is purely for comparison and understanding the existing models. It is based on available information from public domains mostly from Internet editions of news items. Therefore beforehand I would like express my deep regret for any discrepancies in analysis information and data, which is purely unintentional.

Call Auto Service - Chennai
Operated by 'Gates India Ltd' is operated on "Call Transfer service basis. Auto services availed over the phone and a fixed fare plus Rs.6/- is to be paid by the passenger. Autos pay a fixed Rs.65/- per day for the radio and call service.

Positives

  • On call Auto Service
  • Fixed fare by the government

Negatives

  • Do not own the fleet, therefore no service level gaurantees
  • No additional benefits/service to passengers than present unorganized service.
  • No benefits for autos to join - Insurance, Credit facilities
  • No changes on ground for regulation, permits and licensing of the service

Courtesy - The Hindu

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Autorikshaw Star Club - Delhi
It is run by a NGO "Nyaya Bhoomi" founded by Mr. Agarwal. Mr Agarwal left his thriving export business to dedicate all his time to this cause.

The service is run with punch line "Imaandar Auto Chalak". NyayaBhoomi aims to improve auto-rickshaw services in Delhi through the creation of an auto-rickshaw cooperative in June 2010 (a test phase of this service, named the Autorickshaw Star Club, was launched in October 2008). The cooperative framework is intended to create a brand image for auto-rickshaws by providing radio (call) auto-rickshaw service, improving driver behavior through training, instituting a formal fare collection system through GPS devices installed in vehicles, and creating an organized sector with employment benefits (i.e. insurance and pension policies, uniforms, regular vehicle maintenance) for drivers from revenues obtained through advertising. A video created by NyayaBhoomi in Hindi explains the benefits of an expanded Autorickshaw Star Club cooperative service for drivers and passengers:

Positives

  • Attempt to organize the sector
  • Attempt to bring in reform in auto service laws.
  • Plan to provide passengers with friendly, comfortable and reliable service.
  • Assurance on passenger safety and security.
  • Plan to provide for payment choices - By Credit Card, Common Smart Cards. Corporate accounts.
  • Plan to make intelligent use of its resources for additional services like Courier, Video Surveillance, Advertisement
  • Auto drivers/owners to get slew of benefits in the form of Helath & Life Insurance, Ownership and social security.
  • Organized operations with workshops for repairs, shift hours, day off provisions, Customer Relationship Classes, Safe Driving sessions etc.

Negatives

  • Co-operative form of ownership, i.e. every participant is expected to contribute and productive.

Courtesy - The CityFix

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ndia Commutes - Pune
Dial 'A' Rikshaw Service offered by India Commutes on Pilot Basis. Similar to other Dial for auto services, where the calls from passengers are transferred to autos in area and the passenger is picked up from his/her location. Since it is run on Pilot basis no service is charged from autos or passengers.

Positives

  • No service charge
  • Available on demand
  • Early morning and late night service on request.

Negatives

  • Doesn't own the fleet, so no guarantees on service levels
  • Voluntary joining by autos
  • No benefits to autos other than perhaps more rides

Courtesy - India Commutes

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Tuk Tuk Auto - Chandigrah
First 'Dial' for auto service provided by private enterprise. Christened as Tuk Tuk Service, is licensed to 2 private service providers - Indus Travel and Tricity. Service was started with 10 Distinctly painted 'Pink' autos and that too with 2 female drivers.

Both service providers had grand plans to expand the service by adding another 100 to their fleet. Recent reports suggested this service is also on the way to stop.

Positives

  • Fleet, Infrastructure owned by the service provider
  • Fixed Salary and work hours for drivers
  • Fares fixed by govt
  • Newspapers, Bottle of water to passengers

Negatives

  • No significant change on ground on licensing and regulation.
  • 100% risk for 100% ownership
  • Fares to be decide by the govt which are not commensurate with the cost of operations.


Courtesy - Indian Express

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