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Rediff.com  » News » Commuters say NO to autos, taxis in Mumbai

Commuters say NO to autos, taxis in Mumbai

Last updated on: August 12, 2010 09:07 IST

Commuters say NO to autos, taxis in Mumbai

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N Ganesh

Mumbai's seasoned transport union leaders who thought they had seen and done it all are, however, on Thursday facing a scenario that they may have never seen in their lives.

Taxis and autos in Mumbai may find it hard to get a passenger on Thursday following a protest call against the high-handedness of the unions besides faulty meters and drivers who refuse to travel short distances.

Taking on the taxis and auto unions are three relatively unknown youth who have attained celebrity status in less than a week.

Their claim to fame is a unique initiative Meter-Jam 
urging people to boycott using auto rickshaws and taxis for one day. Unions dismissed their initiative, calling it as a gimmick by people with lot of free time on them. Click on NEXT to read further ...

Did you take part in the campaign? Did you refuse to sit inside a taxi or auto rickshaw today? Send us your report and photos to
citizen.reporter@rediffmail.com 



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'Everyone is holding the janata to ransom'

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However, a week ago when the website was launched on August 2, it attracted around 600 supporters in the first four days. By August 6, the number of 'like-it' entries jumped to 844 and on the eve of the historic Meter-Jam on Wednesday evening there were 30,662 persons who supported the initiative.

On Thursday morning, it increased to 35,472 and it keeps ticking upwards by the minute. Being advertising professionals, they have designed a relatively simple website that explains their cause in brief:

'We are tired of meter that always reads more than it should, drivers who refuse to ply and demand return fare whenever they want. And if all that wasn't enough, now we have to deal with strikes too, any time the 'unions' decide! Everyone is holding the janata (people) to ransom. How much more will we pay? It's time to turn the tables.

So on August 12, shake your head and say NO if an auto driver offers a ride!'

Did you take part in the campaign? Did you refuse to sit inside a taxi or auto rickshaw today? Send us your report and photos to citizen.reporter@rediffmail.com 



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A common platform for commuters

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This is the first time that an initiative is made to bring together the commuters together on a common platform to voice their grievances. We have effectively used the digital media to bring the commuters together, said Abhilash Krishnan (25), one of the founders of the initiative.

Everyday Krishnan commutes between his residence Powai and his work place in Goregaon. On Thursday, Krishnan has made an arrangement with Meter-Jam co-founder Jaidev Rupani who would give him a lift on his motorcycle.

Rupani, who resides at Bandra, will take a detour to Powai and then proceed to Goregaon.

When rediff.com contacted Rupani on Thursday morning, he said he was hurrying to pick up Krishnan and that so far the feedback from the people had been very encouraging.

Did you take part in the campaign? Did you refuse to sit inside a taxi or auto rickshaw today? Send us your report and photos to citizen.reporter@rediffmail.com 



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'Buses are a better option'

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There are people who are taking autos and taxis but there are also many who are ignoring the empty vehicles and preferring to walk, Rupani said.

Brar, another co-founder of Meter-Jam, confesses that she has already given up on auto rickshaws since the last two months.

"What is the point in waiting for 15-20 minutes for the auto rickshaw who invariably refuse to ply you? BEST buses are a better option, if you chalk out travel plan well in advance," said Brar.

She adds that even buses had a lot of scope for improvement but seem to be the only viable option available to the harassed commuters.

Did you take part in the campaign? Did you refuse to sit inside a taxi or auto rickshaw today? Send us your report and photos to citizen.reporter@rediffmail.com 



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