Alka Kshirsagar

Pune, Sept. 1 The streets that have hitherto been the preserve of the notorious ‘wreckshawâlla’ will soon have a fleet of 500 eco-friendly radio cabs that will not only run on CNG, but will actively offer cab-pooling services so as to discourage use of private cars in the bid to keep the environment clean.

A couple of months ago, Wings Travels, which introduced radio cabs fuelled by LPG in the city a year ago, launched wingscarpool.com, a Web site where commuters can register their names in order to sign up for a cab-pool.

“Our target is getting one lakh people to sign up for the service,” says Mr Arun Kharat, Director, Wings Travels, adding that it would help conserve fuel, time and money, reduce carbon footprint per family, de-congest streets, cut down high accident rate in the city and of course, add a tiny bit towards reducing global warming. Mr Kharat’s company is already into the transportation business and caters to the movement of 10,000 people daily.

“We will use the same expertise to expand our fleet of radio cabs from 70 today to 500 in six months’ time,” he says, adding that the new green vehicles will run on CNG, and the company is also in talks for carbon credits in the Pimpri Chinchwad industrial area. Each of the cabs, which can be summoned by a telephone call, is fitted with GPRS and can be tracked. “For private users, we will give temporary access so that the position of the car can be tracked from home,” said Kharat, who is also gearing up to offer credit card payment in the car via motor transaction a month from now following which customers will be able to swipe their cards to pay for the transport.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2009)
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