Not to be left behind from top of the class facilities and infrastructure for the Noida International Airport, word is that pod taxis could be considered for the last mile connectivity of passengers commuting to and from the gateway.
Dhirendra Singh, BJP leader and Jewar legislator, told PTI that hi-tech pod taxis are cost-effective, pro-environment and convenient. He said Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has been apprised of the idea of having taxi pods for connectivity between Jewar and Greater Noida.
“The chief minister’s thrust is on having futuristic mode of transport and taxi pods can be more viable on this route than metro train because they are environment friendly, cost-effective and provide last-mile connectivity,” Singh said. “The accident rate in pod taxis is zero. There is no carbon emission as they are battery-operated. With pre-fabricated construction, the facility could be set up on the route in a period of two months. One taxi can have five to six passengers, so that makes it more viable than even buses which run with empty seats.”
Nitin Kumar, Ultra PRT’s CEO India and Middle East, said the construction cost of system for pod taxis would cost five times less than it does in creating a metro or train route. “These self-driven pod taxis run on battery or hydrogen and are environment friendly. They occupy less space and hence are naturally suitable for Indian cities and have viability in future also.”
Ultra PRT estimates that construction of one kilometre route for pod taxis could cost around Rs 40 crore to 45 crore against Rs 135 – 150 crore for Light Rail Transit, and Rs 40 to 45 crore for Bus Rapid Transport (for bus).
Project officials said development work for the first phase of the Noida International Airport in Jewar is underway. The Greenfield airport is being developed in four phases and billed to be the biggest when completed with five or six runways spread in an area of 5,000 hectare.
Singh highlighted that a film city is also coming up in Jewar along the Yamuna Expressway. “A heritage city till Vrindavan is being developed while several multinational companies are also planning facilities in the region, which makes the option of having pod taxis practical for commutation,” he explained.