Prepaid auto service will begin operating from the Bhubaneswar railway station, Baramunda bus stand and KIIT square soon.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to dedicate the service to the denizens of the city on March 22 (Sunday).
In the first phase, 150 autos will be deployed at station, 100 at bus stand and 100 more at KIIT square. The service will be available 24×7 at the railway station and between 6 AM till 10 PM at Baramunda bus stand and KIIT square.
The transport department has fixed separate fare structures for day and night. While passengers need to pay the base fare of Rs 30 per two kilometres for hiring an autorickshaw between 5am and 11pm, the fare for initial two kilometers between 11pm and 5am would be Rs 50.
Also, passengers need to pay Rs 10 per extra kilometre beyond the base fare during the day. “Passengers need to pay 30 per cent more for each kilometre between 11pm and 5am. Besides, we will charge an additional Rs 2 for each journey to be spend for the benefit of autorickshaw operators. It would include constructing rest shades and insurance,” said regional transport officer, Bhubaneswar II, S.K. Behera.
Passengers travelling beyond 20km would be charged Rs 8 for each kilometre.
While the service was initially planned to be launched from the airport, it has not yet been started as authorities are yet to provide parking space for auto richshaws and the booking counter at the terminal.
As per the new prepaid service, the passengers wouldn’t have to negotiate the fare with auto-drivers. They can walk up to the counter and ask for the fare for the journey. Once they submit the amount at the counter, the auto driver would drop him at his destination.
The police would also keep the address and identity proof of autorickshaw operators and issue them special identity cards after verifying their antecedents.
“This would also help us ensure safety of passengers, especially women,” said a police official.