Delhi gets dial-an-autorickshaw service

Call 011-64444441 for G-Auto service. If it takes off, commuters all over Delhi would be able to travel by autorickshaws without haggling or getting fleeced

 
By Ruchita Bansal
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The service in Delhi has started with 125 autorickshaws. Seen in picture are councillor from north zone Sanjay Surjan, who is holding the flag, next to him is East Delhi Mayor Ram Narayan Dubey. Founder of Nirmal Foundation, Nirmal Kumar is on right of the woman councillor

Delhiites are familiar with dial-a-cab service. Now they can even book auto-rickshaws online. An Ahmedabad-based group, Nirmal Foundation, has launched its commuter-friendly service, “G Auto”, in the national capital after its successful run in a few cities in Gujarat.

People familiar with Delhi's public transport know how unpleasant hailing an autorickshaw can be. Many drivers speed off at the very mention of the place one wants to reach. When an “auto-wallah” finally agrees to take a passenger, he steadfastly refuses to run by the meter, forcing one to haggle over the fare demanded. People finally reach their destination harried and frazzled by the experience.

Keeping this in mind and to provide a safe and reliable para-transit service, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nirmal Foundation in September 2013. The G-Auto service was launched at the civic body's headquarters at Patparganj by east Delhi mayor, Ram Narayan Dubey on February 15. Residents of Delhi can call autorickshaws to their doorstep through a tele-booking service on the lines of radio taxis.

The service in Delhi starts with a fleet of 125 autorickshaws.

“Autorickshaw has always been a very unreliable service in the city and both the users and the rickshaw owners go through an ugly experience in day to day life. We want to revamp the picture of autorickshaw travel from an unreliable option to a passenger-friendly and pleasant mode of transport,” says Nirmal Kumar, an IIM-Ahmedabad graduate, who is brain behind G-Auto.

G-Auto is the first and largest organised fleet of autorickshaw service of India that provides 24X7 auto-on-call. It is a concept wherein autorickshaw drivers are organised under the social umbrella brand, G-Auto. It comprises more than 10,000 autorickshaws across Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat and Rajkot, and is expected to grow to at least 50,000 by 2015.

Kumar says the service would make it possible to call an autorickshaw to one's doorstep any time of day or night at government notified meter-based fares. “We are trying to solve the problems of 'refusal, accessibility, transparency and safety' for autorickshaw users. On the other hand, our focus is also to provide 'suraksha, samridhhi and samman' (safety, prosperity and dignity)—the 3Ss of G-Auto—to autorickshaw drivers and their families,” says Kumar. He adds that the vehicles, which are already fitted with GPS by the transport department of Delhi, will form part of a central database at a call centre, making it easy to track the vehicles. “Once it starts, we are expecting more autorickshaw drivers to come forward and register.” The GPS data in autorickshaws is monitored by Delhi-Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS), so Nirmal foundation and East MCD has to still take permission from transport department to monitor the data themselves.

G-Autos will follow the government rate chart and charge an additional Rs 15 for service charges. At present, a control room has been set up in East MCD. The service is essentially for Delhi residents and then rest of the NCR will be catered to," says the East Delhi Mayor.

Passengers can avail G-Auto service at call centre number 011- 6444-4441 or they can book it online at www.g-auto.org or through free mobile applications. The call goes to the centre and from there the message is sent to drivers in that specific areas, one who responds the first, gets the customer. The passenger gets G-Pilot's mobile number, name and vehicle number details within few minutes of booking. At present, the service is available from 6:00 AM to 12:00 night; as the service expands it will be available 24 hours.

Deal for autorickshaw drivers

G-autorickshaws will not only provide passengers a ride to their destination but also provide them with newspapers, magazines, a mobile telephone booth, helpline numbers and a dustbin. Autorickshaw drivers have to pay Rs 250 to get registered with the service. They are given two sets of uniforms, and an insurance cover of Rs 1,00,000 and medical cover of Rs 25,000. They are also being given hospitality training, which includes ability to speak 50 basic sentences in English.

G-Auto creates revenue through two models:

  1. The charge of Rs 15 while booking an auto would go directly to Nirmal Foundation.
  2. They would even be announcing advertising contracts which would cost Rs 1,200-1,500 per autorickshaw per month. Out of this, Rs 500 would go to MCD as a tax and the rest would be divided 50 – 50 between the Nirmal Foundation and the auto rickshaw drivers.


Delhi has more than 90,000 autorickshaws and if this service catches on, it will significantly improve autorickshaw service in the city by removing the gap between the user and driver. The few drivers registered with G-Auto say they they will now have an organisation that will listen to their problems related to misbehaviour and harassment by traffic police. “Traffic police stop auto drivers at will and find an excuse to challan them retrospectively,” says Phool Chand, an autorickshaw driver. The officer asks for all documents and if all are in place, then challan is issued for wrong uniform, incorrect lettering on number plate or illegal stopping, adds Chand.

Nirmal Foundation and East MCD have promised that as the service expands they would look at providing autorickshaw stands and increase the call centres, zone-wise.

Auto-rickshaws are efficient, more affordable compared to taxis, environment-friendly (they run on CNG) and can move people quickly, flexibly and safely in Indian cities. These high-frequency, low-occupancy vehicles can effectively cut dependence on personal vehicles for short distance travel. They are an icon of Delhi and a great hit with tourists, too. Unfortunately, cities have not given due recognition to these vehicles in their mainstream transport planning. This is leading to increased conflicts with formal public transport services like buses. The whole autorickshaw sector needs a big reform, and Nirmal Foundation could well prove the key in organising the sector well.

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  • It is good for foriegn

    It is good for foriegn visiters as they are cheated by some drivers.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • i came to delhi and stayed at

    i came to delhi and stayed at GK-1 and tried several times to book the auto but nobody pickup the phone
    it is a false promiss Govt and delhi police will never encorage good things
    kajal

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Have tried multiple times but

    Have tried multiple times but no one seems to pick up the call and it gets disconnected in about 50 seconds. Please improve the call pickup so that more travelers can book using this service.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • there is no auto service in

    there is no auto service in delhi i check all online try to book many times all are fake or phones off. what is this ?

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • many times i book online or

    many times i book online or call phone numbers no one is genuine , why government not take proper action just online open frauds.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Booking is done giving

    Booking is done giving confidence but hapless passenger is ditched at the eleventh hour when autorickshw driver does not pick call and no alternative remains but to miss the train/flight.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • The Actual Number of G-Auto Customer Care is 927 444 4444 and they are active in Delhi Only..Not For NCR.

    Posted by: Vinod Kumar | 3 years ago | Reply
  • I want auto rickshaw from Baghdola village to rk Puram Sec 9 on the morning time 6.45

    Posted by: Manisha Yadav | one year ago | Reply
  • My mobile number is 8076969373....
    I can supply auto as much as per your need at nominal prices

    Posted by: Aayush Khan | one year ago | Reply