Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) on Saturday introduced Uber Auto and Rapido bicycle taxi services at some of its stations to provide commuters with first and last mile connectivity.
On Saturday, Uber car services were launched at five subway stations and Rapido bike taxi services at 22 stations. Commuters will need to download the smartphone apps to use these services. They could book a car or a bicycle taxi when they come out of the stations.
“We will expand both car taxi and bicycle service to other stations based on our commuters’ performance and feedback,” a subway official said.
In a statement, CMRL said commuters using the car or bike taxi service to or from stations could get special discounts on the app. While Uber auto is available at Guindy, Alandur, Egmore, Koyambedu and Thirumangalam stations, Rapido Bike Taxi is available at Airport, Alandur, Guindy, Little Mount, LIC, Government Estate, High Court, Thiyagaraya College , Tiruvottiyur, Wimco Nagar, St Thomas Mount, Ekkattuthangal, Ashok Nagar, Vadapalani, Koyambedu, Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Pachaiyappa’s College, Kilpauk, Nehru Park, Egmore and Central metro.
At present, CMRL has power services such as MTC minibuses, CMRL bikes, smart rental bikes and e-bikes operating from 80% of its 40 stations. Since commencing operations in 2015, CMRL has launched a few feeder services for last mile connectivity, but they have all been discontinued due to poor response. Transportation experts cited CMRL’s inability to have good first-mile and last-mile connectivity as the reason for low ridership. In 2018, CMRL launched car sharing and shared taxi services which were operated from a few stations on a trial basis. There were also e-bike services and plans to launch a standard shared taxi service at all metro stations in 2020. But all services were discontinued due to the covid-induced lockdown in 2020.
A subway official said his plan to operate an app-based shared electric car at all 40 stations has been pending state government approval for more than a year. “We signed a contractor who would operate the service. If approval is granted, commuters will enjoy an affordable mode of transportation at all of our stations,” the official said.