There is good news for all the office-goers of Gurgaon who spend hours in traffic snarls. As per the discussion which has been going on for quite some time now, Pod Taxis will soon be a reality. The city-travelers will soon breathe a sigh of relief when the ‘Pod Taxi’ project called as the ‘Metrino’ will get completed.
Metrino is a Personal Rapid Transit System Project, which will see an overhead rail with pods suspended from it. According to media reports, the NHAI will soon invite global bids for the same purpose, most probably in April, for the project which is expected to be completed within a year of granting the contract.
Generally, any Personal Rapid Transit System is supposed to be made of many small automated vehicles which run at close intervals on the guide-way. Such guide-ways have docking stations where the passengers of the taxis get on and off. The current ‘Gurgaon Pod Taxi’ plan will initially include sixteen stations, starting from the Ambience Mall. Each of these Pod Taxis will be designed in such a manner that they will be easily able to accommodate five passengers.
Along with this, the passengers will also have an option of hiring the entire Pod Taxi which can take the passenger directly to their respective destination without any halts on the regular scheduled stops, thereby offering an ease of travel to the passengers. With an average speed of sixty kilometers per hour and an estimated budget of eight hundred & fifty crores, the project, in the initial phase, is planned to cover almost thirteen kilometers.
For the pilot project, the government agencies of Haryana already have acquired the land and also all environmental and forest clearances are in place. Because of these two things, the roll out of this project is expected to start early. The private company which is supposed to set up the entire Personal Rapid Transit System will be making the complete investment for the project and the said company will recover the money invested in the next twenty five years through the tickets of the Pod Taxis.
NHAI has stated that the costs of building the Metro on a kilometer stretch reaches around two hundred and fifty crores; however, for building a similar Pod Taxi system, Metrino, it will cost only seventy crores.
Earlier, the governments of Haryana and Punjab had planned an announcement of similar Pod Taxis in Gurgaon and Amritsar, which, however, did not materialize eventually. With this latest announcement, it is also being planned that the Pod Taxis will be extended to Manesar and Dhaula Kuan in subsequent extension phases.
This initiative of NHAI will definitely be fruitful in reducing the daily hassles of traffic for the office-goers in Gurgaon. On the government’s side, since the project is costing less than the Metro network, it surely is a good start for coming up with alternate modes of transportation in the expanding NCR region.