All new kaali-peeli cabs in Mumbai to have rooftop indicators from Feb 1

All new kaali-peeli cabs in Mumbai to have rooftop indicators from Feb 1
The rooftop indicators will have three lights, with ‘green’ indicating that the cab is available for hire, ‘red’ meaning that it is occupied and ‘white’ implying that it is unavailable for hire (Representational Image, Courtesy: Auto iDNES)

In a bid to address the problem of rampant refusals by taxi drivers, the Maharashtra Transport Department has mandated the installation of rooftop indicators on new ‘black-and-yellow’ taxis registered in Mumbai from February 1.

According to a notification issued by the department, the colour-coded indicators would signal if the cab is free or occupied.

“Based on the experience of taxis, the date of installing rooftop indicators in new auto-rickshaws will be decided,” transport commissioner Shekhar Channe told reporters on the sidelines of a Road Safety Week function.

While new taxis will have to get the indicators installed from day one, those registered before February 1 will have to get them installed during the fitness certification process at their respective regional transport offices (RTOs).

As for other regions, the state government has asked the respective regional transport authorities to decide the date of fixing the indicators on cabs registered till January-end.

The department has given powers to the transport commissioner to decide the date of fitting rooftop indicators on auto-rickshaws.

Going forward, all new cabs will have indicators with green, red and white coloured LED lights.

As per the notification, the taxi with the green light on would indicate it is available for ferrying passengers, red would mean the cab is occupied and white would imply that it is unavailable for hire.

Apart from LED lights, the indicators will have letters ‘For Hire’, ‘Hired’ and ‘Off Duty’, in English as well as Marathi languages.

Mumbai alone is home to around 43,500 black-and-yellow taxis and over 2 lakh auto-rickshaws. While the rest of the state only has around 20,000 more cabs, the total number of autos in the state is around 9.75 lakh.

The idea of installing rooftop indicators on taxis and autos was mooted in 2012 and gained traction in 2014. However, it was delayed over language issue, with former transport minister Diwakar Raote insisting on Marathi signage.

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