Image: PTIStarting February 1st this year, the black and yellow taxis running in Mumbai will be installed with rooftop indicators according to a new directive by the Maharashtra transport department. The indicators will be colour coded and are going to signal if the cab is occupied or free. This, the authorities believe, is going to help in bringing down the refusal of drivers to ferry passengers. Rooftop indicators on auto-rickshaws will also be installed in the near future. The date of which is going to be decided very soon.
The aforementioned indicators are going to come in red, white and green light LED lights. Red would indicate that the cab is occupied, green will indicate that the cab is ready for hire white light would indicate that cab is unavailable for hire. In addition to the light signal, letters "For Hire", "Hired" and "Off-Duty" will de displayed on these indicators in English and Marathi languages.
At present, there are close to 43,500 black-and-yellow cabs running in Mumbai. On the other hand, the number of auto-rickshaws is around the mark of 2.05 lakh. The state of Maharashtra has a total 65,591 taxis and 9.75 lakh auto-rikshaws. At the moment, there are no indicators mandatory for taxis and auto-rikshaws. However, some cabs do have yellow indicators on their roof-tops.
The project which proposed LED indicators of roof-tops was proposed back in 2012. However, it only gained momentum in January 2014 when a draft notification was issued by the transport department. It suffered a delay of five years because of a language issue as former transport minister Diwakar Raote suggested that Marathi letters be also put on the indicators.
The notifications say that the rooftop indicators on the black-and-yellow taxis should be creme yellow in colour. On the other hand, the one for fleet taxis has to be either in blue or silver colour. The notification further said that the letters should either be on the front or both on the front as well as the rear so that they are clearly visible.