30,000 Goan Taxi Drivers Declare Indefinite Strike Because Of This App (No, It’s Not Uber/Ola)
If you are planning to visit Goa or if you are already in Goa, then be prepared for a bummer: Goan taxi drivers are under an indefinite strike since last 3 days.
And they have a very simple demand.
Will Govt listen?
Goan Taxi Drivers Declare Indefinite Strike
Since Friday, Goan taxi drivers are under an indefinite strike which has crippled the tourism industry in the state.
The Association of Tourist Taxi Owners of Goa (ATTOG), which is an umbrella association of more than 30,000 taxi drivers from Goa declared on Saturday that the strike will be indefinite.
Reportedly, tourists are stranded at airports and railways stations, hotels and beaches as no taxi is being allowed to ply in and around Goa.
One Simple Demand Of Goa Taxi Drivers: Scrap An App
Taxi drivers have just one demand from the Govt: Scrap the app called GoaMiles, which has been launched by the Govt. to help tourists find a taxi anywhere in the state.
GoaMiles is the only taxi app being used in the state, and was launched by Goa Tourism Department.
26,000 drivers have stated that they will surrender their taxi permits, and go on a mass-leave, if their demand is not met.
Why So Much Anger Against GoaMiles?
As per the taxi drivers, GoaMiles app is destroying their business, and encouraging ‘outsiders’ to enter their state and snatch away business from them.
Earlier this year, the State Transport Authority in Goa aggregated taxis under different categories into the Goamiles app, which are: AGT (All Goa Tourist), yellow-black taxis and AITP (All-India Tourist Permit) taxis, yellow-black motorcycles, and Rent-a-Cab and Rent-a-Bike.
This has irked the local taxi drivers, and now, they want complete ban on GoaMiles app.
In the last few years, Goan taxi drivers have vehemently opposed Uber and Ola in the state, but were ok with Govt. backed GoaMiles app.
But now, they don’t even want that to interfere with their business.
What is Govt. Saying?
Govt. in Goa has been very tough in regards to dealing with the taxi drivers.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has clearly stated that the taxi drivers are being given a 8-day window, within which, either they should join GoaMiles app, or launch their own app.
He said, “We are for good tourism. We are not promoting GoaMiles for any political reason. The industry will benefit. Mining died due to short-term goals, and only a few benefitted. Tourism too, will die if such measures are not brought in,”
Taxi drivers have refused to join the GoaMiles app because the rates are low, and they are used to charging exorbitant tariff, which can go as high as Rs 100 per km sometimes.
Govt. has clearly stated that the licenses of drivers will be revoked, if they don’t end their strike.
How To Get Help In Goa?
Govt. is trying to provide help to the tourists who are stranded in Goa:
- Users can download GoaMiles app, and book a cab. They can also call 9607178989/8888800405.
- Buses are being run from Dabolim airport to various parts of Goa. Visit here for more info: http://www.goa-tourism.com.
- Helpline at Collectorate North and South has been activated. The helpline numbers are 1077/North Goa 0832-2225383/South Goa 0832-2794100/1077/ 0832 2225383
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.