RMC, Nirmal Foundation and EMBARQ India partner to implement first ever fleet services in the city
Rajkot, 13th July 2012: Rajkot’s first ever fleet auto-rickshaw service was launched today by Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Minister of Urban Development, Government of Gujarat. The project was developed in partnership with the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), Nirmal Foundation and EMBARQ India. The launch ceremony was also attended by Shri Janakbhai Kotak, Mayor of Rajkot, Shri Ajay Bhadoo, Commissioner, RMC, Shri Govindbhai Patel, MLA, Smt. Bhanuben Babaria, MLA, Shri Dhansukhbhai Bhanderi, President, Rajkot BJP, and other stakeholders in the transportation sector.
Fleet organisation is an approach that involves providing auto-rickshaw services under an organised and unified brand name and image. Rajkot’s unorganised auto-rickshaw sector currently has 12,000 auto-rickshaws providing contract carriage services provided by individual operators. In Rajkot, fleet organisation in the auto-rickshaw sector would address key challenges like poor public perception, informal fares, lack of employment benefits to drivers, and operational inefficiencies like empty trips and lack of regular maintenance of the vehicles. A distinct brand image would improve public perception, and the quality of service offered.
Nirmal Foundation will run the project under the brand name G-Auto, which already runs successful services in Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Gandhi Nagar, with over 10,000 rickshaw drivers. Owing to its experience in the sector, G-Auto was selected by RMC, with support from EMBARQ India, as a strategic partner to implement fleet auto-rickshaw services in Rajkot. This was following a request for proposals (RFP) from prospective bidders in November 2011. Since then, the three agencies have worked together to launch this service in Rajkot.
While G-Auto is responsible for implementing the project, and setting up operational systems for the same, RMC is committed to providing seed funding, infrastructural support, and stakeholder management for the duration of the project. EMBARQ India will continue to support RMC, offering technical advice and expertise on all aspects relating to improving the quality of fleet auto-rickshaw services, including monitoring and evaluating the project on an on-going basis.
The services were officially launched with a pilot fleet, and will scale up over the next few months, connecting passengers to rickshaw drivers, offering honest, safe and reliable auto-rickshaw services to the people of Rajkot.
TOI July 10th