Pune, 22nd November 2023: In a proactive move, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) plans to launch a dedicated WhatsApp number for passengers to report instances of overcharging and refusals by autorickshaw and taxi drivers. This initiative comes on the heels of a similar hotline introduced by the RTO to address overcharging by private buses during Diwali.
Currently, passengers can file complaints via email at email@example.com or through traditional mail to the Pune RTO postal address. The RTO receives an average of five to six complaints daily, and actions such as fines and permit suspensions are taken in response. Anticipating an increase in complaints with the accessibility of WhatsApp, the RTO encourages complainants to provide a picture of the vehicle with its registration number and a description of the issue. Show-cause notices will be issued to the implicated drivers.
Expressing the need for such a system, a Koregaon Park resident highlighted the daily stress caused by multiple auto drivers refusing rides for short distances, both in the morning and after work. He hopes for a swift and successful implementation of the system.
A Lohegaon resident echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing that auto drivers are the primary culprits in overcharging and refusing passengers, especially in the late evening. Demanding an extra Rs 50–100, they often cite the lack of returning passengers. The resident raised concerns about how the RTO will manage a potential influx of hundreds of complaints.
The introduction of the WhatsApp reporting system reflects the RTO’s commitment to addressing passenger grievances promptly and efficiently, fostering a more accountable and reliable transportation system in Pune.