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Old 18th August 2007, 02:23   #46
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Nice to see Bombay finally getting new taxi's! AC taxi's are no longer a luxury and its high time the common man gets some comfort from this cities heat!

The WagonR is a good option since its a smaller car than the padmani but at the sametime customer traveling to the airport or with luggage would be in a fix as the CNG tank would leave no space for any bags.

TOI mentioned that the esteem is replacing the coolcabs but since all taxis are gonna be AC whats so "cool" abt the coolcabs?
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Old 18th August 2007, 03:37   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Sigh...if only the Taxi drivers would reailse they are digging their own grave. .
A huge grave! After a few months when these new Dubba's come to the condition the padmini's take years before a overhaul, they will realise what they let go. Then there are the cost of spares.
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Old 18th August 2007, 05:59   #48
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The important thing about a cab is it must be a common car.

The original Fiats were made of heavy gauge metal. As the decades rolled on the gauge thinned from 18 gauge down to 22 gauge.

But these small Suzuki Kei cars are literally made of tinfoil with cardboard interiors. They won't live up to cab drivers/owners/users expectations.

We are only talking of a WagonR because there is nothing else in the market.

I have seen the Bombaytaxi change from Ford Prefect, Morris Minor, Hindustan 14, Landmaster, Hillman Minx and dukkar Fiats. The Fiat 1100/103 endured because it was very rugged and simple.

A european car overengineered to tolerate abuse and last.

Ram
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Old 18th August 2007, 06:22   #49
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Yes, when it comes to taxis the requirements are entirely different from those of cars intended for private ownership. Here in New York cabbies still miss the passing of the Checker taxicabs. Not modern, but sturdy and reliable. A fuel efficient car that sits in a garage even three weeks out of the year is less economical than something like a dukkar Fiat.

How reliable is the Indica? A dedicated taxi design might be a really good thing for the Indian market, but it must prove itself reliable first.
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Old 18th August 2007, 06:28   #50
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Default A 45,89,000 km old taxi

The same is true of the big B-bodies used the the US of A. And so is the case with the E-class Mercedes taxis used in Europe, from the times of the 1959 W-111 Heckfloβe onwards. Why even before! From the times of the 1953-60 Pontons. In Germany, every second taxi is a Mercedes-Benz.

There is this factoid about a Greek taxi driver who bought a second-hand 1976 "/8" Mercedes 240D car in Germany in 1981 with already 2,20,000 km on the odometer.

He drove it back to Thessaloniki in Macedonia, Greece. Then he put it to work 24 hours a day as a taxi for 23 years until July 2004. In that time he rotated three tired engines eleven times!



Finally he wrote a letter to Prof. Jürgen Hubbert, director on the board of DaimlerChrysler AG, thanking him for the car's years of excellent service. In Sep. 2004, the taxi driver donated the 28-year-old car with 45,89,000 km back to DaimlerChrysler!



Dr. Alexander Paufler, president of DaimlerChrysler Hellas(Greece) gave him a brand new, showroom fresh C200 CDI in exchange for the old beater.

The car is preserved in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart.



That's the stuff that taxi platforms should be made of.
And we're bestowing our faith on a tinny Japanese econo-box!
I empathize with Karl's sentiments.

Ram

Last edited by Ram : 18th August 2007 at 06:29. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 18th August 2007, 08:52   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
But these small Suzuki Kei cars are literally made of tinfoil with cardboard interiors. They won't live up to cab drivers/owners/users expectations.
Maybe this reiterates your point. Look what this cabbie done to the WR :


Last edited by DCEite : 18th August 2007 at 08:56.
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Old 18th August 2007, 13:03   #52
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Default My two bits

I would like to re-iterate Rtech's point. The argument about the Wagon-R's luggage space after the CNG cylinder doesn't hold much water because anyone who's tried to take a cab from the airport would probably know that with the CNG cylinder the Padmini's boot doesn't even take one suitcase properly. You HAVE to have a cab with a carrier and put your suitcases on the carrier and (maybe) your handbaggage in the boot.
When the Maruti 800 was first launched it had it's fair share of sceptics (me included) who thought along similar lines to what we have read above for the Wagon-R. "It's a tinny, delicate, cardboard car. It will never survive Indian road conditions. It's unsafe, the metal is so thin. ......." (I'm sure there was a similar line of thought even when they switched from the Ford Prefects down to the Padminis. Wasn't the metal of the Prefects much much thicker and weren't they considered more sturdy than them darn new age FIATs ??) BUT were we proven wrong or wot ? Speaking for myself, my Maruti 800 was a refreshing change from my FIAT. The cost of actual ownership plummetted drastically. For one, i didn't have to spend thousands of rupees every year for tinwork and painting. It was inherently more reliable, needing mostly only the 5000 kms regular service and tune-up. Sure the parts that you did change cost more than an equivalent FIAT part, but lasted thrice the amount of time because the quality was so much better. Consider also the abyssimal condition of most of the taxis in Mumbai. More often than not, the doors need a good slam and still don't shut (you gotta hang on for dear life wot with their driving "skills"), the seat springs poke you in the arse, the engine's making an infernal racket while he's labouring up the hill at a beastly 30 kmph belching a bluish-white smoke-screen all the while, so that you're blinded and cannot pass. As opposed to this you have the smaller , more airy, silent, smooth and above all, lower polluting Wagon-R. It's a no brainer for me.
Please note here that i'm not talking about the FIATs of 1100D or Karl or the like. Those cars are lovingly maintained in pristine condition and will be a pleasure to drive, much like other classics. I must add here that i'm an avid FIAT fan too and owned a Premier Padmini for a long long time. In fact, it was the car i started my driving on and the car that i lovingly owned and maintained, and refused to part with, for a long long time, despite the ridicule and the teasing from all my car loving friends. However, after a point, economic sense prevailed and i made the leap. I was heartbroken to see it go but i can't say i'm sorry i made the change. I'm the proud owner of an Esteem now and i love it to death.
Rather than trying to keep the Wagon-Rs away from the taxi drivers i would welcome them with open arms, albeit with a small condition. Any driver wishing to graduate from the Padmini to the Wagon-R must attend a driver's-ed course and must undertake to maintain his cab to a minimum level as specified by the RTO / taximen's union. Further these cabs should be regularly inspected and should require regular passing so that they meet these requirements.
ok .. chal see you bye tanks
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Old 18th August 2007, 14:26   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
...That's the stuff that taxi platforms should be made of.
And we're bestowing our faith on a tinny Japanese econo-box!
I empathize with Karl's sentiments.

Ram
While I agree with you, the silver lining is that the drivers will be more careful on the road.

In a PP, most city accidents will not keep the cars off the road for too long.

In a WagonR, the first guy who hits something will not have his car back on the road for a LONG time.
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Old 18th August 2007, 22:15   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post


Dr. Alexander Paufler, president of DaimlerChrysler Hellas(Greece) gave him a brand new, showroom fresh C200 CDI in exchange for the old beater.

The car is preserved in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart.



That's the stuff that taxi platforms should be made of.
And we're bestowing our faith on a tinny Japanese econo-box!
I empathize with Karl's sentiments.

Ram
Is the boot hunkering down. It must have been rear ended. However, it must beworthwhile to note his C200CDI experience, given all the excuses recent cars take to turnon the check engine light.
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Old 19th August 2007, 10:27   #55
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But what is the guarantee that the new WagonRs/Esteems would be maintained in a good condition. After 5 years or so, you'll see them with broken headlamps, malfunctioning seats, cheap bling bling accessories and so on....

We need to understand that these cabs would be bought by the private taxiwallahs and not the big taxi companies (which have a better management system when it comes to maintaining cars)

The current fare of Rs.13/- won't be sufficient to generate a profit margin with these new cars. So maintenance would obviously be neglected.

Moral of the story:
After 5 years, it would be the same old story. Filthy Padminis would be replaced by filthy WagonRs/Esteems/Indicas.

Instead, if every taxiwallah spends around half a lakh rupees and spruces his taxi like this Padmini below...



Then even a Fiat might enjoy the cult status of the faithful London Taxi






Guys, do you get the analogy?
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Old 19th August 2007, 11:17   #56
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Default London taxi not so old-fashioned!

Agreed, London taxis make allowance for the old "retro" look.

But London taxis are new cars, not too long ago off the production line.
A far cry from the black 1959 Hackney cab.

Allowances for modernity, see them with modern diesels (as in, ECU controlled Euro IV compliant 2.5-litre turbodiesels), disc brakes, power everything.

A 2006 model London taxi is the output of 3 years and over £5,000,000 worth of R&D. This includes over 10 lakh km of testing and 5000 km of chassis and suspension durability testing over cobbled road surfaces.



The manufacturer has taken the pains to research that that the average taxi driver spends over 3,000 hours a year in the cab. So the new London taxi has an ergonomic seat with lumbar support and armrest. It has a high driving position and large glass area all around.

It has a tough Plexiglas Resist 65 attack-resistant screen between the driverís compartment and the passenger cabin.
The locking system lets the cabbie lock driver and passenger compartments separately for added safety.

The London taxi includes current gen. ICE with full MP3 compatibility and 90 Ampere-hour battery.



British law requires taxis to have a maximum 25 feet turning circle, so that a cabbie may perform a U turn in the narrowest of London streets.

But they are also hugely spacious, very heavily built (thick gauge steel) and very comfortable.
--- x --- x ---

Back home, the goal of reducing cost of operations has driven us into the little single cylinder tongas we call autorickshaws.

The way, trends seem to be turning, the 2-cylinder 600 cc, tinfoil Tata Ace based, one-lakh car may become a taxicab. Then it would price-bridge the space between the autorickshaw and the Japanese Kei WagonR. The roads would be flooded with them, parking here and there, atherosclerosing the lifeline of the nation.
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Old 19th August 2007, 11:29   #57
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FYI guys in Mumbai, the latest rage in Delhi cabs are the ... Indigo Marina - the new choice for the 41414141/1929 radio cab walas. Even with CNG in the boot, there is enough space for a mini army

And all that space is sold to airtel/... corporates thus reducing the cost of purchase significantly.

I hope they do the same in mumbai, would make the cabs better to look at - brings color to the city.

Speaking of which, I heard some taxi walla crib the other day that RIL ADAG would be entering this business. If so, that's gooood news in terms of customer service for us ok enough ot!

edit: just read the post about cars being overengineered to tolerate abuse. Having stayed in germany for nearly three months - i can vouch for the fact that mercs make great taxis. even the reaaallly old ones are uber comfortable and silent. In India, with individual operators' lack of concern for safety, who knows! Heck, even mid sized operators with 15-20 taxis don't bother to maintain even seat belts despite strict instructions from the corporates like mine to keep them there. we don't need just new taxis - we need standards.

PS: I would want the tata 1L car to replace autos ASAP - with TATA providing safari size tyres on them - the current auto ride is like hanging on for dear life in the rains, with ZERO balance in any pothole.

Last edited by phamilyman : 19th August 2007 at 11:38.
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Old 19th August 2007, 11:39   #58
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I am showing this thread to wife. While considering a model for purchase, we had the Indica, Alto and Wagon R under consideration, and left out alto for space, and Indica due to its taxi image. Apart from the fact that she will be doing most of the driving, I had to yield when she put her foot down saying she is not going to drive a "taxi".
That said, I have seen santros with LPG as taxis in Mumbai and actually travelled in one. The poor driver had painted "same taxi, same fare" on the side, apparently because people were staying away thinking that fare was at a premium.
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Old 19th August 2007, 11:43   #59
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I do not see why the Wagon R's would fall apart? As mentioned above, we were all skeptical about the M800 when it was first launched. What happened after that is history and we all know that pretty well.

No car can withstand abuse and pure neglect as well as the Japs. Hence, IMO, one of the Maruti products are the best option out there.

Also, it is no sense equating a Padmini black & yellow to a london taxi. As Ram explained in detail, the London Cab is a purpose made vehicle that has evolved over the years and delivers exactly what a tax should - tight turning radius in the city, large passenger cabin, comfortable interiors and good luggage carrying ability.

The old Padmini has none of these. The interior is cramped, no headroom at the rear, no luggage capacity (with the CNG cylinder), terrible turning circle and frankly have been used way past their time.

For all the Fiat lovers, I'd say look at the bright side - you will soon have a pool of 55,000 padmini's to scrounge bits and pieces off! And dirt cheap as well.
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Old 19th August 2007, 11:44   #60
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Phamilyman/RTech,

Indigo Marina Cabs are used in Mumbai too.... but only by the big Taxi Companies like Mumbai GoldCab.

The problem here is that the new Maruti WagonR/Esteem taxis are being bought by the regular taxiwallah who has a hand-to-mouth existence. Thus, its not RIL who is buying these cars.

Maintenance of taxis is the core problem not the brand or the vintage, whether it's a Fiat or a Merc.

So honestly speaking, I don't think that buying new taxis won't make a ground breaking difference in Mumbai's transport system in the long run. It would only make a difference, if small-time private owners make way for a organized taxi ownership by a big company.

Last edited by salilpawar1 : 19th August 2007 at 11:45.
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