GoaMiles is here to stay, join the service for a better tomorrow: Sopte to local taxi operators
Rubbishes all allegations; says GoaMiles is working in the interests of Goem, Goemkar & Goemkarponn, new schemes and benefits for drivers on board GoaMiles soon
Following a high-level meeting chaired by Hon. Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant on Monday to discuss on-going issues related to protests from local taxi operators against the app-based taxi service GoaMiles, Hon’ble Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Mr. Dayanand Sopte said, “The Government of Goa has taken a firm decision to stand by GoaMiles initiative in the interest of tourism in the State and will not buckle down to any sort of pressure from vested interests nor to their demands to stop or scrap the app-based taxi service.”
Mr. Sopte, addressing a press conference in Panjim today, said, “We would urge local taxi operators who have not joined the initiative to sign up on GoaMiles, which is completing a year of successful operations this August, instead of standing on the sidelines protesting against it.”
He said, “Today some taxi operators are levelling baseless allegations against GoaMiles out of sheer ignorance and jealously, as several of their former colleagues are doing extremely well after joining GoaMiles. It seems like this is a disgruntled lot with selfish motives who are only trying to prevent others from doing well.”
Explaining in detail the entire success story of GoaMiles from inception till date, Mr. Sopte pointed out that GoaMiles was conceptualised after GTDC floated a well-slated tender in January 2018, wherein after a tough competitive bidding, the successful bidder selected was an experienced Mumbai-based company.
“This company needs to be applauded for keeping in mind the interests of Goem Goemkar and Goemkarponn and as a part of tender terms, floated a company special purpose vehicle under name of Frotamiles who launched the service in the name and style of GoaMiles for the new app based taxi service,” he said. Enlisting the achievements of GoaMiles in the last one year he said, “On commissioning the service in August 2018, the fleet has steadily risen from 55 vehicles to 1,400 cabs. The app-based taxi service which started in August 2018 with 1,500 trips per month touched around 14,000 trips in December 2018 and in June 2019, has recorded more than 20,000 trips per month. As far as taxes generated, it has paid more than Rs. 7 0 lakh Rupees to the government which was not in existence before. There are approx. 50 Goan youth employed in various positions in GoaMiles.
“Similarly on an average a taxi driver registered with GoaMiles earns around Rs. 3,500 per day without having to lose on commission which other app-based taxi services operating nationally charge,” he said. This figure is much more than what a non GoaMiles driver earns in a day and the earning potential is directly proportional to the hard work put in by the driver.
It was pointed out that GoaMiles is not an ‘outsider’. “Even other app-based taxi services may not have as much local genes as much as GoaMiles has,” Sopte pointed out. He also disclosed that the new app-based taxi service which started operations in Goa has not cost the government anything in terms of investments, technology etc. and that the Goa government has the application service code under its control. He further explained that drivers and taxi owners enlisted on GoaMiles are also locals having the requisite domicile without which they would not have been able to obtain permits to operate their taxis in Goa. In addition, with a floating populace seeking employment, GoaMiles has provided livelihood opportunities to many drivers as is the case with local taxi owners who engage outsiders looking for employment opportunities in Goa. The GTDC Chairman also pointed out that every driver taken on board GoaMiles is subject to police verification and provided training for etiquettes and manners etc. This makes the taxi service more hospitable and is preferred by tourists, visitors, women travelers etc.
The GTDC Chairman also said that around 2,500 rent-a-cab operators who are now legalised and conducting authorised business’ are also invited to join the app-based aggregator GoaMiles and reap huge benefits under this service.
Mr. Sopte today also disclosed that the government through GTDC would be unfolding large number of schemes for drivers attached to GoaMiles like insurance, medical etc.
That a loan facility through EDC for purchase of vehicles by drivers who are on board GoaMiles is also being worked out.
“The Goa government is not going to relent and will not turn back, GoaMiles is here to stay,” he said.