Taxis in India

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Yellow-coloured ambassador taxis in Kolkata.

Cars such as Toyota Etios, Maruti Omni, Mahindra Logan, Tata Indica and Tata Indigo are fairly popular among taxicab operators. The livery of the taxicabs in India varies from state to state. In Delhi and Maharashtra, most taxicabs have yellow-black livery while in West Bengal, taxis have yellow livery. Private taxicab operators are not required to have a specific livery. However, they are required by law to be registered as commercial vehicles.

According to Government of India regulations, all taxicabs are required to have a fare-meter installed. However, enforcement by authorities is lax and many cabs operate either without fare-meter or with defunct ones. In such cases, fare is decided by bargaining between the customer and the driver. Taxicabs face stiff competition from auto rickshaws, but in some cities, for example Mumbai, auto-rickshaws are banned in the main city district, thus giving taxicabs a monopoly.


Taxicab stand outside Mumbai International Airport

In India, most taxicabs, especially those in Delhi and Mumbai, have distinctive black and yellow liveries with the bottom half painted black and upper half painted yellow. In Kolkata, most taxis are painted yellow with a blue strip in the middle. Private companies operating taxis can have their own liveries but need to get them approved from the government. Now drivers don’t need to pay commission. [1]

Taxis and all other commercial vehicles have a yellow number plate so charging taxes and toll in highways is easier for the officials. Delhi is the only city in India with taxicabs running only on Compressed Natural Gas. To hail a taxicab, you normally just wait on the street or go to locations called taxi stands. Taxicabs are referred to as taxis in India and the word cab is rarely used.

New models of taxicabs like the Mahindra Logan, Tata Indigo, Tata Indica and Toyota Etios are commonly seen in metropolises in India

Most of these cabs do not have an air conditioning system but there are numerous private taxi operators like "Cool Cab" are air-conditioning. The newer taxis are white, one of the many reasons why the expensive taxis have been dubbed White Taxis by the locals in cities. Taxis and all other commercial vehicles have a yellow number plate so charging taxes and toll in highways is easier for the officials.

Depending on the city/state, taxis can either be hailed or are hired from taxi-stands. In cities such as Bangalore, taxis need to be hired from taxi stands, whereas in cities like Kolkata and Mumbai, taxis can be hailed on the street. There are additional surcharges for luggage, late-night rides and toll taxes are to be paid by the passenger. Thanks to the booming economy but due to disparities in income many types of taxis have come up. For example, in Delhi there are 5 types of taxi. auto rickshaws- which are the cheapest form of taxi-, Normal Taxis, Radio Cabs, White Taxis and Tourist Taxis. In posher areas like Noida and Gurgaon auto rickshaws are banned thus giving the taxis a monopoly. Chandigarh also has a well established system of modern radio cabs using cars like Tata Indigo/Indigo Marina, Fiat Siena and Maruti Esteem. Kolkata has also got many No Refusal taxis that will never say no to the passengers.[2] (2015-14-02). Retrieved on 2015-15-02. </ref>

Shared taxicab[edit]

In cities and localities where taxis are expensive or do not ply as per the government or municipal regulated fares, people use Share taxis. These are normal taxis which carry one or more passengers travelling to destinations either en route to the final destination, or nearby the final destination. The passengers are charged according to the number of people with different destinations. A similar system exists for autorickshaws, known as Share autos.

As one example, "Shared taxis" – and known just as that – have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970s. These are more like a point to point service that operates only during the peak hours. During off peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis, can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter. But in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply, during peak hours, several of them operate as Shared Taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a post that says, “Shared Taxis” and cabs line up at this point during peak hours. They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens – which takes less than a couple of minutes – the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount – fixed between the Taxi Unions and the authorities for the point to point distance – and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination, but higher than the bus or train fare. Time taken is obviously much less than that by bus. These taxis are very popular because of the lack of waiting time, faster journey speeds, greater comfort, and absence of the crush loads of peak hour commuter traffic in buses and trains. Generally, the taxi drivers choose the locality that they live in, in the suburbs as the destination in the evenings, and in the mornings, the destinations are always the CBD in South Mumbai."

Outstation Taxi Service in India[edit]

Indian outstation taxi market is valued at US $9 billion and rising at a rate of 10% every year. Indian taxi market is largely dominated by two major players Ola & Uber.

Outstation taxi services are majorly used by Indian travellers and foreign tourists to travel between cities for leisure and business purpose. There are many options available including online and offline service providers. Major types of cabs available in India are Hatchbacks, Sedan, SUV. Here is the list of top 10 outstation taxi service providers in India:

1. Ola - India's largest outstation company, Ola was founded in 2011 by Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati. It is an online cab aggregator and operates in more than 110 cities across India. Ola provides convenient city transportation for customers at an affordable rate through mobile technology platforms.

In 2016, Ola launched Ola Play, the world's first connected car platform for ride sharing. Using the Ola mobile app users can connect with over a million driver-partners who are empowered, entrepreneurs.


2. Uber - Uber is ranked one of the best in the country in the taxi business owing to the larger area it covers, Uber is an American taxi aggregator that operates through a convenient mobile-app-based cab service network.It has services in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. It also operates in and near major tourist destinations and provides a very reliable and fair service to visiting tourists both from and outside the country. They also offer multiple modes of transportation from regular taxi to auto-rickshaws.


3. Meru - Meru is one of the pioneering Outstation taxi companies in the country that was launched in 2007 in association with True North. It is headquartered in Mumbai and is present across 24 major cities of the country. It provides reliable, safe and very transparent services and offers around five different modes of travel that suits the customers' convenience. Meru has more than 20,000 cabs that provide service to 12 million loyal customers. They are the forerunners in outstation taxi services in India and they keep on evolving with modern innovations.


4. Savaari - Savaari Car Rentals is an online cab booking aggregator founded in 2006. It is present in more than 98m major cities of the country providing customers with reliable, intercity cab services. Savaari provides chauffeur-driven cabs for your road trips. They are also available for short trips within the cities.If you're hiring Savaari for your holidays, you're in for a treat because they provide travel kits for your tourist destinations providing guides to good restaurants and hotels. It is the perfect service if you're specifically looking for chauffeur run taxis and they provide you with various taxi booking packages. They are one of the largest online cab renting companies in terms of geographical reach.


5. WooCabs - WooCabs is north India's one of the largest Outstation taxi & city car rental service provider. With its presence in 50+ cities in India and having a network of over 5000 well maintained cabs makes it one of the prominent taxi service providers. WooCabs offer well-trained chauffeurs, decent cab fleet and maximum comfort to the customers at most reasonable price. It also delivers online & offline taxi booking & car rental services through website & mobile app. It is Chandigarh's largest cab service with an affordable tariff structure for the city's people. It provides reliable cab services in and around northern region of India at reasonable rates. It also delivers one-way, round trip and multi-day vocational car rental service.


6. Carzonrent - It is a car rental company headquartered in New Delhi, India. A company founded as early as 2000 by an entrepreneur Rajeev K Vij, it caters to over 6 million customers annually. It covers the major cities of India including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and various others. It provides a number of facilities from self-drive services to radio taxi services. The company also provides airport transportation facilities and leasing facilities for big cities and is open to corporate leasing programs. The company also offers international services through tie-ups with other countries.


7. My Taxi India - My Taxi India or MTI is a car rental service with over one-lakh taxi operators across more than 290 cities in the country. It provides taxi rentals for local, outstation and holidays tours. It offers attractive taxi packages and cheap intercity transfer. It provides taxi services for airport, railway stations, events, conferences, marriage parties and car leasing for corporate executives. The chauffeurs are well trained and monitored for maximum customer satisfaction. The company won the Superstar Start-up 2015 from NASSCOM.


8. Gozo Cabs - One of India's leading inter-city taxi services Gozo Cabs began in November 2015. It aimed to expand chauffeur driven taxi travel in India with an integrated quality driven service at a reasonable price. The company provides taxi services in about 200 cities across the country. It has a powerhouse for a development team with a workforce of IIT and IIM alumnus at the helm. Gozo has introduced clear-cut and transparent billing system that breaks down the pricing structure for its customers. It is a booming taxi provider in the country.


9. OneSide Taxi - This up and coming taxi service in India makes booking outstation one side taxis convenient. It assures quality and transparency while dealing with one-way cab rates and a variety of choices for both one way and round trip taxis. It also provides 24*7 customer support and was founded with a mission of making intercity taxi travel affordable to all classes of people. You can book through the website as well as the app for a hassle-free experience.


10. Bharat Taxi - Bharat Taxi is one of the country's fastest-growing outstation taxi services. It provides services to more than 100 cities across the country. It is reputed to be one of the most affordable cab companies in India. Bharat taxi is available for local travel, outstation car rental & long-term car rental. It also offers affordable tour packages to customers as well as airport and railway station pick up facilities. Bharat taxi booking is available online as well as through their call centers.


Motorcycle taxicabs[edit]

Motorcycle taxicabs are a licensed form of transport in Goa, India. They are much cheaper than other taxis, although the lone passenger can only carry a backpack as luggage. Motorcycle taxis in Goa are driven by men called 'pilots'. By law, in some parts of the state, the rider is expected to wear a helmet, but the pillion-rider is not. These motorcycle taxis can normally be identified by their yellow-and-black coloured paint. The fare should be fixed in advance, and the rides are not metered.

Taxicabs in Mumbai[edit]

Taxicabs arrived in 1911 to complement horse wagons. The black and yellow Fiat taxis in Mumbai, are integral part of the city's heritage and have been depicted in numerous Bollywood movies. These metered taxis ply throughout Mumbai and have monopoly from Bandra to Churchgate on the Western line and Sion to Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus on the Central line. Beyond Sion and Bandra auto rickshaws are not allowed and one has to hire a taxi. However, between Sion to Thane and Bandra to Bhayandar, Taxis and autorickshaws ply. A mechanical meter decides the fare and is proportional to the distance traveled.

There are an estimated 52,000–55,000 taxicabs in Mumbai.

Cars used for taxis include Maruti Esteem, Tata Indigo, Mahindra Logan, Hyundai Santro, Toyota Innova, Toyota Corolla Altis, Maruti Wagon R and Maruti Versa.

Recently the police revealed that it is required by law that the driver of an unengaged taxi take you to where you want to go, distance and time regardless. If the driver does not comply, one simply needs to call the police (dial 100) and mention the taxi's license number and the driver's name. The act of calling the police on your cell phone usually makes the driver comply with your request to be taken to your destination.

The city of Mumbai was first city in India, to have an "in-taxi" magazine, titled MumBaee, which is issued to taxis which are part of the Mumbai Taximen's Union. The magazine debuted on the 13th of July, 2009.[3]

In 2012, it was reported that the city was facing a shortage of taxis.[4]

Taxicabs in Delhi[edit]

Radio taxicab powered by CNG

The Indian Tourism Ministry and various private owners operate most taxis. The Tourism Ministry grants private companies permits to operate taxis.[5]

Though India the concept of online booking of taxi and cabs is quite new and successful. It has been generally observed that online booking of car and taxi operations are on a macro-level, with multi-national size of entrepreneurship.[6][7][8]

In 1998, the Supreme Court of India published a Directive that specified the date of April 2001 as deadline to replace or convert all buses, three-wheelers and taxis in Delhi to compressed natural gas.[9][10][11]

Sakha Consulting Wings provides a unique taxi service exclusively for women by women drivers.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Oxy Cabs drivers don't need to pay commission now". The Statesman (India).
  2. ^ Kolkata gets 100 more no-refusal taxis – The Times of India. (2013-12-20). Retrieved on 2014-04-15.
  3. ^ "Taxis to introduce 'in-Taxi' magazines from July". ChennaiVision. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  4. ^ Sen, Somit (2012-07-21). "Mumbai faces shortage of taxis, 15 % drop in six months". Mumbai: Times of India. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
  5. ^ "Types Of Permit And Its Condition". GOVT Of NCT Of Delhi.
  6. ^ "Gear up for a smooth business drive". Franchise India.
  7. ^ "The car rental industry in India is expected to have 500,000 cars by FY'2015". Linkedin.
  8. ^ "Indian car rental industry – opportunity to build an Indian travel brand". Ibef.
  9. ^ "Effects of Introduction of Gaseous Fuels for Public Transport". Press Information Bureau, GOVT. of India.
  10. ^ "CNG conversion: Learning from New Delhi". UNEP.
  11. ^ "CNG Delhi – the world's cleanest public bus system running on CNG". Product Life.
  12. ^ "10vor10 vom 15.5.2015" (in German). 10vor10. 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  13. ^ Rhitu Chatterjee (2013-02-14). "Delhi's No.1 ladies' taxi company". BBC News / PRI's The World, Delhi. Retrieved 2015-05-15.