The state of taxis in Gurgaon demands a proper overview so I’ve decided to do a separate post on them.
When I moved to (New) Gurgaon 12 years ago, I knew of just one taxi stand in the DLF-I area that appeared to have 3-4 taxis. The stand used to be out of vehicles most of the time and its charges of Rs250 for a drop at the airport felt exorbitant. So high that I didn’t consider them as an option for regular commutes and used them for those unavoidable outstation trips when the whole family had to travel. An even bigger issue used to be to get back into Gurgaon once we returned by air/train. A private taxi service posted at the domestic airport would charge Rs400+ and guys at Delhi stations would charge at least double that amount.
Then, there came a time when any long-standing local worth his name opened a taxi stand and our newspaper would be full of coloured fliers announcing various Yadav Taxi Services. The first month or two of sending fliers, these taxi operators would take calls at all hours but a vehicle sent by them would mostly be an ancient ambassador that would be rattling from all sides. At some point, we started getting Indicas for which we thanked our stars but shelled out more. I also remember many occasions in these years when despite lots of coloured fliers in my folder, I couldn’t find a taxi for an essential trip to the airport.
When the pre-paid taxi counter at the airport started service for Gurgaon about 3 years ago, we were overjoyed. We didn’t mind standing in the only queue for our turn to proudly announce our destination. Once out with a paid slip though, we would dread approaching taxis because as they would hear Gurgaon, they would make some excuse to skip us. About a year ago, GMR appointed volunteers to ensure the next available taxi for any passenger with a paid slip, and that has been helpful. Taxi drivers still misbehave once out of the airport’s surveillance area but we try to brave their attitude.
More recently, it has gotten easier for anyone to get in and out of Gurgaon as along as one can remember a radio taxi number and overlook the expense. At Rs15/- km radio taxis work out expensive but at least they are there and most services provide vehicles that move without pairs of hands pushing them. Their numbers are so similar that I can only remember a couple – 41414141 or 43434343. These are Delhi-based services and take a while to arrive but they sure do and drivers don’t complain about anything – neither the location of one’s house nor the distance. Recently, I learnt about Gurgaon’s own radio taxi service called Komfy. Its office is in one of the DLF shopping complexes and with its Rs350+Rs52 (towards toll) for the domestic airport, it actually proves comfy as the passenger doesn’t have to grovel either for reducing the music volume or switching on the airconditioning. A local taxi operator in comparison recently quoted Rs400+Rs84 and in all likelihood he would have brought along a companion to chat with on the drive! Komfy’s drivers are not slick but they’re uniformed and the service works. Their number is also comfortably ensconced in my head as 4777888. Hopefully, future will see more such services for a healthy competition.