Tuk Tuk meter has a simple aim. It wants to prevent people from being conned by auto-rickshaws around the country. How? They provide mobile apps for Blackberry, Android, Symbian and Java based phones that allow you to calculate the correct fare. In their words:
Transport within a city is cumbersome and slow, especially after a full days work when the cities erupts into a hub of endless traffic. Resorting to autorickshaw’s is not just a convenience anymore, to the crowds, it is a necessity. While in a rickshaw, the customer is at the mercy of the driver. Well, not anymore. Fair Fare ensures that :
- You can identify a faulty/ tampered meter
- Determine the correct fare that is to be paid to the driver
- Can be at a better bargaining position
I decided to take the Android version of the app along with me on a ride.
As you open the app you see a dark auto-rickshaw themed page displaying the present fare and distance traveled. There are just 3 buttons for viewing the Settings, Starting/Stopping the meter and viewing the About page. The app requires the phone to have GPS capabilities. They basically track your phone over the route and map it to the distance traveled. That’s why the app needs you to lock on the the present GPS position before it starts recording any distance/fare. To map distance into fare you also need to fill your city’s “Per KM fare”, “Minimum fare” and the “Minimum distance” on the Settings page.
Since the app is pretty straightforward (which isn’t bad) I’ll go straight to the Pros and Cons.
While the app works as required and advertised, I have a major issue with the usage. Take an example of you going to a new location in an auto. You fire this app to calculate the accurate distance but in between the driver takes a short cut or goes through an underpass where the GPS goes down while the phone was in your pocket. In the end, as expected, the fare calculated is lesser than the fare reported in the auto’s meter. You’ll end up having an unnecessarily fight with the auto-rickshaw driver. I guess if you are so worried about the fare being high, it makes more sense to call up someone you know and ask the approx fare.
Tuk Tuk Meter can be downloaded from the Android Market. The app is also available in Blackberry, Symbian and Java versions.
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