Soon, city taxi, rickshaws to have display boards atop

City taxi

Looking to minimise arguments between commuters and taxi and autorickshaw drivers, the state transport department has laid down specifications for the installation of display boards atop taxis and autorickshaws and invited proposals from manufacturing companies to make such boards available in the city.

The state transport department has also prepared a prototype of the taxi-tops, which will indicate if they are engaged, vacant or off duty.

Simultaneously, the department has invited suggestions and comments on the concept from drivers, unions and passenger associations within 15 days.

"The proposed taxi-top would exhibit 'For Hire' in green colour, 'Hired' in orange colour and 'Off Duty' in white colour, which could be spotted from a distance of 100 to 150 metres during the day as well as at night. After successful commencement of this scheme for taxi cabs, fitment of roof lights would be introduced for autorickshaws," transport commissioner V N More said.

As per the specifications drawn up by the transport department, taxi tops would be 10 to 15 inches long, 4 to 5 inches wide and 5 to 6 inches high with compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light emitting diodes (LED) to ensure boards are illuminated at times when the taxi is on the road.

The autorickshaw tops would be smaller in size and will display the symbols V, X and O in green, orange and white colours, respectively.

The displays would be connected to an external switch, which will be accessible to the driver so that he can manually change the mode.

At any given point of time, the switch should be able to illuminate only one of the modes of the roof light. Each of the modes will roughly consume seven watts of power.

Thampi Kurien, who heads an autorickshaw union in the city, said this is a welcome move and unions have been demanding a system to ensure that drivers refuse to ply only when they off duty.

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