Mangaluru, Sep 21, 2017: Railway passengers travelling through Mangaluru Junction Railway Station off the city have got one more reason to cheer. Close on the heels of reopening of the prepaid autorickshaw counter last month, Ola Cabs, an app-based taxi aggregator, commenced its operation from the station on Sept 19, Tuesday.
The aggregator was provided licence to operate out of the station by Southern Railway recently on payment of certain licence fee. Besides setting up a kiosk to facilitate transit of passengers, the operator has got space to park five vehicles in front of the station building.
Operation of another aggregator, Uber, out of Mangaluru Central Railway Station, had run into rough weather recently with autorickshaw drivers staying out of the prepaid counter alleging “poaching” of their customers by the aggregator. However, the authorities concerned ensured that both operators functioned smoothly.
Passengers travelling out of Mangaluru Junction had frequently been complaining about “harassment” by a group of autorickshaw drivers, which allegedly did not allow functioning of the prepaid counter. Though the counter was opened a couple of years ago, it was made in operative. Only after frequent complaints did the authorities ensure that the counter became operational.
By late evening, there were reports that upset autorickshaw drivers gheraoed the Ola kiosk to voice their protest. However, Railway Protection Force personnel and local police have streamlined matters now.