The city's first prepaid autorickshaw service will be kickstarted from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) at suburban Kurla on February 1, a regional transport official said. This will provide much-needed respite to commuters, who often complain about fare refusal and make the journey safer at LTT, he said. State transport minister Anil Parab will inaugurate the service at LTT, which is one of the biggest railway
terminus in the city, the official said. The Maharashtra Rickshaw Chalak Sena, a union affiliated with Shiv Sena, will operate the services, with necessary permits from the Regional Transport Office and Central Railway.
Passengers will have to pay a minimum fare of Rs 30 for 2 km and the rates will increase every 2 km, an official said, adding that they will have to shell out Rs 10 more as service charge. Moreover, autorickshaw drivers will get 5 to 20 per cent extra on each fare as an incentive, he said. "We have developed computer software to take bookings at our booth and fares will be displayed on the screen," general secretary of the Maharashtra Rickshaw Chalak Sena Rajendra Desai said.
Once passengers pay the fare, they will get a bill with the autorickshaw number mentioned on it, which will help them track the vehicle, reclaim items they may have forgotten in the auto or file a complaint against a driver if he misbehaves with them, the RTO official said.