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Meters return to the metro

Do you dodge the auto walahs when you land in Chennai in fear of being fleeced by the exorbitant rates they charge? Then think again, Chennai is to become the first metro with GPS based auto meter, panic button and digital printer. And this time it is to stay. With the concerted efforts of Times of India, NGOs, people from all quarters and auto drivers themselves, the auto fares have been hiked 75 per cent in tune to the prevailing fuel and other costs. The government is to spend Rs 80 crore for the 71,000 registered autos in the city to fit the GPS enabled meters by 15 October. 59 teams are policing to effect this change. The fare for the first 1.8 km is Rs 25 and Rs 12 for every additional km. Swathi Soft Solutions, an IT services company has launched an android app ‘Chennai Auto Fare’ for commuters to calculate fares based on distance.  For this fair fare system to stay and to expand through the state, commuters should put a strong effort in implementing this after two decades of unrestrained fleecing of the hapless commuters by auto-drivers. Incidentally, IE in its January 2012 issue had  suggested that auto-drivers be regulated and that this would earn the undying adoration of the public. 

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