Trivandrum: The Government of Kerala is getting ready to introduce a first-of-its-kind, safe, 24×7 taxi service owned and operated by women entrepreneurs for women travellers.
‘She Taxi’ is the first off-campus project initiated by The Gender Park which has been newly set up by the Department of Social Justice to unify all activities in the State aimed at achieving gender equity. The Gender Park will identify the beneficiaries and assist the women in securing low-interest loans from the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC).
The pilot service will be launched in Thiruvananthapuram on November 19 with an initial fleet of five cars, expected to be scaled up to 100 in three months, with plans to extend the service to Kochi and Kozhikode in the next phase.
Maruti Suzuki India is partnering the Gender Park as the official supplier of the customised pink and white ‘She Taxi’ cabs, which will be kitted up with the best available automobile technology including GPS, precision metering systems, personal and emergency alert systems, in-car entertainment and other luxuries. The carmaker will also help provide training to women drivers at the Maruti Driving School.
The fleet operations and marketing will be handled by Technopark-based Rain Concert Technologies which is setting up a 24-hour call centre for the purpose. The taxis will have round-the-clock access to the control room and they will be monitored and assisted by the Police.
“‘She Taxi’ is going to be a milestone for the public sector,” said Kerala’s Minister for Social Justice Dr M K Muneer. “We know of women-driven taxis operated by private firms and NGOs, but this is the first initiated by a government platform and we will make sure this becomes a model for everyone to follow. ‘She Taxi’ is not just for security of women, it is a means of promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment.”
P T M Sunish, the CEO of Gender Park, said they have developed a business model for the ‘She Taxi’ which projects a monthly income of at least Rs 20,000 for the women entrepreneurs. “We have factored in every possibility and still believe it will be possible to earn around Rs 20,000 a month for an estimated 8 hrs of operation everyday for 22 days a month.”
Kerala Biz News