Thursday, January 19, 2012

A fan of meter taxi

In recent days the roads of Colombo is full of metered three wheeler's aka tuk tuk . At least for now it seems a pretty decent service and eliminates the need to bargain with the taxi drivers and most importantly avoids the very uneasy feeling of leading a life wondering whether you had been cheated again!

The introduction of metered taxi has now given a chance to just relax and pay what the meter shows. As of now first Kilometer costs 50 Rs and each subsequent kilo meter is supposed to be 35 Rs (or did he say 30, bit confused). For each minute where the three wheeler is in stand still during the journey it adds in an extra 1.50 Rs charge.

Today interestingly I found that for places which I paid 150 Rs for the journey before, now I had to pay only 100 Rs or 120 Rs. For example a ride from Nawam Mawatha to Union place costed 110 Rs, where as earlier it was 150 Rs. A ride along Marine drive for a distance of 2.8 Kilometer costed 100 Rs which was also 150 earlier.

Three things that we might have to be cautious to make sure it continues in the same standard,

1. Hope they don't start showing us around the whole of Colombo when we do not know the path.
2. Hope they don't start tampering with the meter.
3. Hope they don't become like the Indian drivers who demand "meter ikku mela" - which when translated reads as "price above the meter".

Sincerely hope that our guys do not become creative on this!


  1. Hi Saayaa,
    I experienced the same today. We got a taxi without meter and went to Ratmalana for 200Rs. But we took a meter taxi on the way back home, I paid less than 100Rs. This is more reliable. :)

  2. You are talking about the same people (SLns) right? The same people who were able to modify the bus ticketing machines which were deemed un-tamperable by their German manufacturers. This was in the glory days of the CTB - Our guys moded the machines so that they can give a ticket without the machine even recording it. So good luck with 'hope that our guys do not become creative on this!'

  3. @Vimal yes as of now it is

    @Neelaka being here ..the only thing we can do is hope knowing that its hopeless

  4. Nice one.
    The rates are changing. Some have started charging Rs.60/= for the first kilometer. For the additional kilometer, some charge 30, some with 32, 35, 37/50 or even 40.
    I heard from a three wheeler guy that the lower rate taxis are not reliable as they tamper the meter.
    Another creative idea out tuk tuk guys have is "meter veda karan na mahathayo" (Meter is not working sir). You still have the board on the 3 wheeler saying it is a meter taxi. You will notice only when you get into the taxi only that it is not working and you have not bargained the rate.
    My suggestion is to get out of the taxi immediately and then decide whether to bargain or not.