Yesterday, for the first time, I travelled by a radio taxi in Delhi. The journey lasted about 40 minutes. The experience of travelling from South Delhi to Connaught Place (a distance of about 15 kms) was quite pleasurable.
I had to travel in to Connaught Place at short notice therefore had to take a taxi. A friend suggested I take a radio taxi. He gave me the number of Ezee Cabs (Contact Number: 011-43434343). Knowing how things sometimes work in India I kept my expectations really low especially when it came to the booking service and the cost.
The first pleasant surprise was the taxi booking process. The Customer Service Representaitve was quite helpful and the taxi was booked within minutes. She asked me whether I knew about the fare structure and when I said that I did not she explained it to me clearly. I got a confirmation sms on my cell giving me the details of my taxi. Within minutes the driver of my taxi called up to ask for exact directions to my house and confirmed that he would be there in some time.
The taxi arrived 10 minutes before the booking time. Again the driver informed me of his arrival.
The taxi itself, while not luxurious, was clean and well maintained. All these taxis have satellite navigation and GPRS datalinks. The jobs are sent via the GPRS datalink. The meter was very clearly visible and it gave both the current cost of the journey as well as the distance travelled.
The driver was curteous and soft-spoken. He asked me straight away if I wanted the A/C switched on (there is no extra cost for the A/C). He also asked me to confirm that the meter was set to zero. The journey itself was quite pleasant with the driver neither rushing nor taking any risks.
I arrived at my destination a satisfied customer. The fare was what I expected it to be.
The fare structure is very simple: for every 1 km they charge 15 rupees. Waiting costs are extra as are the night charges (applicable after 11pm).
There is a funny twist to this story. The driver did not know the directions to Connaught Place (CP) or how to use the GPS equipment to get the directions since he was new to the job. While this might be a bad thing for someone new to the city I felt quite pleased with myself when I managed to navigate to CP without making any mistakes after almost 1 year.
On the whole would recommend radio taxis to anyone as well as would pray to God that future experiences remain positive!