You can also hail an autorickshaw by sending an SMS. The service-'on demand auto'-will be launched in the last week of April.
It won't cost you much: the metered fare plus Rs 20.
When you phone in or shoot an SMS, your address will be sent to the nearest auto-rickshaw in the area, which will reach you within minutes.
Each auto-rickshaw will be fitted with GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers to make the system work.
Each auto- rickshaw will also be fitted with two meters. One, a GPS meter that will calculate the fare by calculating the number of kilometres covered through GPS mapping. The other will be the normal meter fitted in auto-rickshaws.
''There will not be much difference in the fare displayed by the two meters. Whichever is higher, the commuter will have to pay that,'' said Rakesh Aggarwal, secretary of NGO Nyay Bhoomi, who is the driving force behind the service.
According to him, commuters need something that is available at their beck and call and is cheaper too. ''Radio taxis are, of course, there but one also has to look at some economical variant,'' Aggarwal added.
Almost 50 auto- rickshaws will make up the 'on demand auto' fleet in the beginning.
The fleet strength will be increased to 5,000 eventually.
''We have calculated that at least 5,000 auto-rickshaws will be required to run the service efficiently,'' Aggarwal said.
Besides, only the best drivers- driving skills and their behaviour will be taken into account-will be chosen for the service. The drivers, who will don uniforms, will be given a crash course before the service is launched.
The fleet will be fully refurbished, giving the passenger all the comfort possible in a three-wheeler with proper seat covers and sun drapes, among other things.
For the safety of passengers, the auto-rickshaws will have a panic button. Whenever a commuter feels he or she is being driven to a wrong destination or is in danger, he or she can press the button. Once the button is pressed, a signal will pop up on the computer screen in the control room as a red bar.
''As the three-wheelers will be fitted with GPS receivers, we will immediately know the exact location of the auto-rickshaw.
Immediately, our men on motorcycles and vans will fan out to trace the auto-rickshaw.
We will also contact other autorickshaw drivers in the vicinity to go to the affected vehicle and check what has actually happened.
This way, we will be able to keep a tab on the security of commuters,'' Aggarwal added.
Each auto-rickshaw will have an in-built telephone. All GPS devices have an inbuilt Sim card, so we can easily contact the driver in case of an emergency.
The driver, in turn, can contact the control room, if the need arises. Commuters can also contact us using the same telephone for any other query.
Special customer care executives will be on duty at the control room to handle the calls from commuters.
Auto-rickshaw drivers have welcomed the move.
''Some days ago, I heard of the GPS system that will be installed in auto-rickshaws. I got all excited. The initiative 'on demand autos' is a wonderful effort. People generally do not trust auto drivers for security reasons. The panic button will make them feel secure and move anywhere in the city without fear, especially the woman commuters,'' said Chandrabhan, an auto-rickshaw driver.