Shillong’s iconic black-yellow cabs, which have been the lifeline for the office-going commuters for decades, are now all out to fleece the hapless passengers.
During the last few months, it has come to the notice of the commuters that the local cab drivers in Shillong have mastered the art of refusing a pool ride.
The taxi drivers often found to refuse a pool ride to the passengers, and insist on hiring the vehicle at a premium rate.
After a passenger hires the vehicle, the drivers on the way, pick up more passengers, and are making quick money.
The problem is noticed more often during the peak office hours.
Surprisingly, the state transport department and even the police administration have not taken cognizance of the menace till now.
The taxi drivers at Motphran, Police Bazar, Dhankheti and even at Madan Iewrenghep are seen refusing pool rides to the passengers.
The menace has ruined Shillong’s unique culture of point-to-point shared taxi service.
The shared taxi service in the capital city of Meghalaya has been an excellent example of pool transit system for several decades.
One can easily travel a distance of six to seven kms in a black-yellow taxi by paying just Rs 10.
Passengers are now often seen waiting for a long time at major embarkation points in Shillong for a ride in taxis.
As tourism industry in Shillong is growing for the last few years, the greed of the taxi drivers to earn quick bucks is now showing a growing trend.
Moreover, almost all the taxis, which are tiny Maruti 800, Alto 800, or Hyundai Eon, are often seen overloading passengers.
As per the norms, taxis can carry four passengers – three on the rear seat, and one at the front.
The taxis are always seen carrying at least four passengers at the back, and two at the front.
Unfortunately, traffic police personnel on duty turn a blind eye to the drivers flouting the norms.
Since Uber and Ola have no service in Shillong, the taxi drivers are at an advantage to cheat the poor passengers.
Is the Meghalaya government going to take cognizance of the menace, and initiate actions to bail out the passengers from the crisis?