After the state government imposed 10-day lockdown restrictions in Pune because of the rising cases of COVID-19, more than 1,000 private cabs along with autorickshaws have been allowed to function in the city to carry passengers who might need them in cases of emergencies or essential purposes.
As a part of on-call services, around 400 private cabs and autorickshaws each have been permitted to ferry commuters. At the airport, the passengers will also be able to avail pre-paid autorickshaws and well-sanitised cabs. Founder of "Book2Ride", an app-based cab service, Kunal Kharat said that under their company, more than 500 cabs will be available for booking to ferry passengers.
TOI quoted Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Surendra Deshmukh, as saying, "During the earlier lockdown phases, the police, in association with private companies, operated the 'autorickshaw on-call' service, which will continue. Around 400 cabs will be operational for travel to the airport and back. They will get passes via the company coordinating their movement."
He further added that during the lockdown period, Ola and Uber cabs will not operate in the Pune city. Chairperson and Managing Director of PMPML, Nayana Gunde stated that some bus services will be available but only for the providers supplying essential items or services.
However, the airport will be functional with normal flight movements and the facility is less likely to get affected by the lockdown, the Pune airport authorities confirmed.
Rudranil Bagchi, a working professional feels that that state should have allowed some Uber and Ola services to function at least to carry passengers to the airport. "I have to fly to Delhi on July 17 and I am already worried," he said.
Founder of The CityGlide service which is going to look after all the operations of cabs and autorickshaws, Rahul Shitole said that vehicle passes would be made available by Sunday afternoon. Passengers can also send a WhatsApp message to the number 9859198591 to book an autorickshaw or cab or they can also message Rahul Shitole on his twitter id at "@RahulShitole11" along with all the travel details.
"Book2Ride's Kunal Kharat said that the travellers can either download the application "Book2Ride" on their mobile phones or they can also book the cabs by calling on the number 020-66100100. "The pickup or drop point has to be either the airport, railway station or hospital," Kharat said.
Assistant traffic Police Commissioner Deshmukh said that only vehicles showing the passes will be permitted to travel during these 10 days of strict lockdown.