Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hazrat Nizamuddin Station: Easy Cabs Prepaid Service

One of the most challenging things about Delhi is bargaining, you need to do this almost everywhere, and this is what I hate the most about the city.

That day I was to pick an elderly relative from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. After reaching the station, I was quite relieved to see the Easy Cabs counter at the eastern exit of the station, next to Comesum restaurant. Upon being asked I was sure I could book an air-conditioned taxi without hassles. Great! I did feel sorry about the scamsters who thronged every time I needed a taxi before.

                         The Easy Cab prepaid booking counter at Eastern Exit, next to Comesum

After picking up my relative when I was about to reach the counter to book a cab we were intercepted by quite a few guys. They were auto drivers, and black and yellow taxi drivers, but I didn't give in.  I went ahead to the counter and booked a cab till Connaught Place (CP). They asked me to pay 200 rupees which appeared quite reasonable for an A/C taxi. 
                                                                   Me inside the car

The driver in grey uniform helped me load the luggage and we sat into the car. I was not expecting it to be that great.. since the condition of car I last availed from the airport terminal one was average. But, to my surprise, this cab was very well maintained. Bravo! These guys have got it right.

                                                               The Interior of the Car

It was an afternoon on a weekday and we reached CP without encountering much traffic. The A/C was effective driver was well-trained and drive was very smooth. I noticed that the GPS was not installed in the car.

We got down at the Park where my uncle was waiting for the two of us. The driver pulled out the luggage, I collected the bill, made the payment and bade good bye. It was indeed a pleasant ride. 

To book Easy Cabs in the city, you need to call 011 43434343. For tele-booking, an extra charge of 30 rupees apply. If you book using Internet at easycabs.com, you save this money.

Delhi Radio Taxi Scam

I had heard great things about Radio Taxi (Call a Cab) service in Delhi which is being provided by Meru Cabs, Mega Cabs, Easy cabs and NCR Taxi.

Now they have removed the prepaid counter for Meru cabs from Terminal 3 and as you come out you see the air-conditioned cars waiting in queue. A guys makes note of your name and phone number and tells you the number of the taxi you can board. The driver is enthusiastic and he loads the luggage in the car.  All this happened very smoothly, and the car started moving. Even in the past I had used the service (although from the prepaid counter) and it was hassle-free. So, expecting the same thing, I was peacefully chatting with my wife about Delhi weather, beauty and the flyovers.

While we were on flyover next to Varuna, Naval Officers Mess, the driver took a turn for RK Puram instead of Dhaula Kuan which surprised me. Upon being asked, he reasoned the heavy-traffic on Dhaula Kuan while hardly a few cars were plying on the road. Imagine, traffic at Dhaula Kuan at 04:30 in the morning. Now, I was sure he's fooling me. I warned him not to play around and he probably understood. When I probed why he was not using GPS, he said it's not yet operational. He stopped for gas and then drove us to Ginger, New Delhi Railway Station through RK Puram, Moti Bagh and Chanakyapuri. Guess what? The meter has clicked 30 kilometers, which ideally should not have been more than 22 kilometers.

I insisted that he must not charge for extra 10 kilo meters. By then I had already clicked a couple of photos of   the car and number plate, which probably was good enough for him to take me seriously. Surprisingly, he agreed. I paid him 600 rupees including the night charges which is 25 per cent extra, while the actual bill was 828.00 rupees which included 30 kilometer of ride at night and 80 rupees airport parking fee.

While talking about this to one of my friends who lives and works in Delhi, I came to know this is quite common among the radio taxi drivers.

So, to be sure that you're not ripped off, you must tell the route you want him to follow before starting the journey.