Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pink Autos?

At last an all women taxi service was launched in Chennai few months back. News Link.  Similar services were available in other parts of world much before.

I think it is great idea but needs a bit of indianization. Most women in Bangalore would be using Auto than Taxi for usual reasons of cost, speed and reasonable privacy. I think instead of Taxi,  Pink Auto  would make lots of sense for Bangalore and other metros.

This is how a typical Auto trip works out:
1) Walk upto auto stand or keep waiting for Auto whereever you are
2) Some of them will run away the moment you say Indira Nagar or Marathalli.
3) Some of them will say 20 rupees extra or will say 100 rupess
4) Finally you will find someone who doesn't says any of those things and you get in it.
5) After two kilometers you will see that his meter is running at 1.5 or 2X the speed.
6) At this point you have probably spent 30 minutes, so depending upon your energy level you might just stop and repeat the process or continue thinking at least I am going home/office.
7) This doesn't ends here. Finally when you take out a 100 rupee note to pay for 85 rupees, the auto driver will tell you he doesn't have change.

I think this can be done a lot better.  If managed by a corporate similar to how Meru manages taxis, this is a much bigger market (cost of auto is 0.5 times of taxi and number of women using autos is probably 10X or more that of women using taxi ) and their is no competetion. Apart from peace of mind for women travelers it opens up another opportunity for being self sufficient  for many uneducated or less educated women who are currently restricted to work as laborers or house maids.

Since most women would be using Autos for cummuting to work and home, it is a simple logistics problem. Have something like a membership card for 10% discount and keep track of who travels from which place to which place at what time and you can easily know all you need to solve this problem in the best possible ways.

- monthly plans, pick any pink auto or you will be told which auto at which time
- allow shared auto at lower costs
- allow post payments of bills

It is a solvable problem and it is a problem worth solving and in the process you can make money.

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