Ola inks MoU for app-based river taxi service with Assam government
05 Feb 2018
Cab aggregator Ola has inked an MOU with the Assam government to run an app-based river taxi service in Northeast India's financial hub Guwahati.
Chandra Mohan Patowary, Assam's minister for transport industry and commerce and Vijay Ghadge, vice president operations of Ola attended the signing at the on-going 'Global Investors Summit: Advantage Assam' in Guwahati
The ride-sharing company launched in Assam in December 2014. According to the MOU, the move will strengthen a localised and key mode of commuting in the city's transportation ecosystem.
The river taxis will be machine-operated boats, which are faster and safer than the conventional ones. Ola will pilot high-speed taxis on the Lachit Ghat, Machkhowa to North Guwahati route, cutting down the time to 2 to 5 minutes from 45 minutes by road.
App-based bookings will streamline demand, allow for advance bookings and cashless payments, ensuring a convenient commuting experience and also given an impetus the local transportation infrastructure and economy.
Patowary said, "Assam has a very unique transportation landscape where water transport plays an important role in cities such as Guwahati. Ola has played a key role in streamlining road transport over the last few years in the state.''
Ola will initially run two such taxis in the city on a trial basis, the first of which is likely to arrive in a day or two.
Inland water transport director BBD Choudhury told The Assam Tribune that the 15-20 seater taxis will be run on two routes, one connecting both the banks of the Brahmaputra and another as a cruise.
''We will initially check the route viability and demand. If successful, we will deploy more such taxis,'' he said.
''We also plan to connect the airport through the taxis from Lachit Ghat in the city and integrate the service with flight bookings. The government will provide the terminal facility for the taxis,'' Choudhury said.