Gurgaon Becomes First NCR City to have Dial-an-Auto

Blue autorickshaws to hit Gurgaon roads
Sanjeev K Ahuja

The public transport system in Gurgaon has got a major boost in the last few months and interestingly, most of the initiatives have been taken by private entrepreneurs.

In yet another effort to address intra-city transport needs, Autocall, another radio autorickshaw service with 30 GPS-fitted vehicles are all set to hit the roads on Sunday.

On lines of the Tuk Tuk service, these new CNG-run autos, painted in a distinct blue colour, will be available on call at a tariff of R10 per kilometre.

The facility will be available from 6.30am and 11.30pm and the helpline number is 01244844444.

With additional features to ensure the safety of passengers, the new travel option is pitted to be a hit among women.

“It is a safe option as our autos are constantly under surveillance. Our initiative has the backing of a modern computerised communication and dispatch system.
Global positioning system (GPS)-based online tracking systems monitor the vehicles. The new TVS radio autorickshaws are further equipped with electronic tamper-proof meters and all safety measures like an emergency switch, microphone and speaker, immobiliser, fire extinguisher and first aid kits,“ said 28year-old Vineet Goel, owner of the service.

He added that Gurgaon lacked an effective intra-city mode of transportation and this necessitated the need for radiofitted auto rickshaws.

DCP (traffic) Bharti Arora will flag off the Autocall service on Sunday from DLF City Club in DLF Phase 4.

Sumit Choudhary of Choudhary Motors, that has supplied 50 TVS King autos for the Tuk Tuk service, said the Autocall three-wheelers are blue while the tuk tuks are red.

“We have specially painted the new autos blue as was demanded by Autocall. The make of the autos is the same,“ he added.

“Our state-of-the-art customer contact centre will cater to travel needs of customers for even short distances of 1 kilometre also. Passengers would be charged R1 for every 100 metres. Every driver undergoes stringent training and a verification process. We make sure he has knowledge about city roads,“ Goel said.

Radio ‘Tuk Tuk’ Gets Warm Reception in Gurgaon

A new radio auto-rickshaw service in the suburb of Gurgaon got off to a strong start Monday, receiving at least 400 calls so far, according to its founder Sulabh Mehra. The 25-year-old said his service came out of a casual conversation on the Gurgaon’s transport woes.

“While having a casual conversation with my friends cribbing about the city, I realized there is absolutely no organized commuting system for commuters to travel within Gurgaon and this is how the idea of the radio auto rickshaw, Tuk Tuk, came into being,” said an excited Mr. Mehra. “I thought this model will be successful in Gurgaon as there is no public transport link for office-goers.”

The recently arrived Metro connects only a few key stops within Gurgaon and mainly functions as a link for Gurgaon-Delhi commuters. Office-goers within Gurgaon generally rely on car pool, taxis or shared auto rickshaws that don’t have fixed rates.


The Tuk Tuk autos, which run on compressed natural gas, were launched this morning in collaboration with vehicle manufacturer TVS Motors with an initial fleet of 50 radio autos that offer door-to-door pick-up and drop-off and several security features.

Mr. Mehra, who previously worked in the IT sector, said: “All the autos have been fitted with a panic button for customers in case of emergencies with the vehicle or driver misbehavior, and with the GPS system in the autos, our team can reach the spot for emergency situations. There is also a current immobilizer in case of a short circuit.”

The radio autos, which are likely to be used largely as a way to connect to the metro, operate from 6.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. to match the metro train services and are available to commuters through a helpline number. The service, which charges 50 rupees ($1.08) for first three kilometers and eight rupees for every kilometer thereafter is more expensive than the regular autos plying in Delhi, which cost 19 rupees for the first two kilometers and 6.50 rupees for every additional kilometer.

“The cost of living is higher in Gurgaon as compared to Delhi. This, added with the high cost of CNG hikes the cost. On top of this, we have installed safety devices and all our drivers are hired on fixed monthly salary-basis, so all these come as an overhead costs,” explained Mr. Mehra.

The drivers have also been given training on etiquette and using GPS, and provided with uniforms, ID cards and mobile phones, all of which adds to the cost of the service, he said.

Mr. Mehra said he has been overwhelmed by the initial response and the helpline phone hasn’t stopped, but he admits that there have been some initial hiccups, such as with the drivers having difficulty operating the GPS and getting lost. But he is hopeful that these will smoothen out in the days to come as the drivers as well as commuters become familiar with the service.


Source: Wall Street Journal: