Taxi / Cab on call : All India service

NEW DELHI: The first batch of the much-awaited "Delhi Cab" the air-conditioned radio taxi service expected to make public transport in the Capital more efficient was flagged off by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at Pragati Maidan here on Thursday. The 100 taxis introduced now will offer efficient and safe service to commuters and "transform the public car hiring system of Delhi". "Many steps forward have been taken to make public transport system in the Capital safe, clean and commuter friendly," said Ms Dikshit. "The smart cab system will add a new dimension and bring credibility, comfort and reliability to the public transport system."

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The Delhi Cab has been launched by Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Limited (OAIS), a joint venture between Orix Corporation, Japan, and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS). Tata Motors is providing the fleet of vehicles. The round-the-clock cab services can be availed of by dialling 44333222, a nationwide local phone number. It is claimed that the car will be present at the point of boarding within 15 minutes once the full fleet becomes functional.

The hallmark of the service would be "the highest level of safety and security it provides as well as the presence of well-mannered drivers". The background of the drivers has been verified and they have also undergone training in courteous behaviour and crisis management.

An additional feature of the service is a panic button in the car that is connected to the Master Control Centre and can be pressed in case of an emergency. The cabs are also under watch through a Global Positioning System that gives the "real time" positioning of the vehicle on a digitised map in the control room. These facilities are expected to enhance the safety of passengers.

"The cab service can be used as a feeder service to Metro Railway stations and provides a secure environment for children and senior citizens," said OIAS Chief Executive Officer Neeraj Kumar. The cabs also have tamper-proof electronic fare meters. "The Delhi cab service is one of the most modern radio cab system in the world," said IL&FS Chairman Ravi Parthasarathy. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma was among those present at the flag-off function. extract from