GOA is seeking to reassure female travellers that the state is safe with the launch of a taxi service for women, driven by female drivers equipped with knowledge of martial arts, self-defence, first aid and tourist attractions.
These taxis – found primarily at airports, railway stations, and bus stations – are equipped with both a GPS monitoring system and a panic call button. Optimal route assessment and journey planning is also available.
Electronic fare meters allowing print-outs are being installed in the vehicles, and taxi services accept payment in cash or credit card. The movement of these taxis will be monitored by the control office and emergency numbers will be displayed inside each taxi.
The introduction of such taxi services could counter the negative media coverage of high-profile assaults on women in India last year, leading to a 35 per cent loss of female travellers in 2013.
Sonal Swamy, director of Syrisa Travels, felt this would help drive an increase in female travellers. “Introducing women drivers in taxis for women travellers is a proactive move to ensure a sense of safety," she said.