Gates India, has introduced the Call Auto facility in Chennai. Call Auto business runs just like the Call Taxi business. You have to call up the central number and ask for a pick up and they would arrange an auto rickshaw at your door-step.
The call auto fares are as per the Government rates. That is, for the first 2 kilometers they charge Rs14 and for every additional kilometer it is Rs6 per KM. In addition to the fare, you also need to pay Rs20 as service charges.
When I contacted the call centre, they confirmed that they have created a network of existing auto-drivers from various localities in Chennai and they are leveraging on their network. The operator, Gates India doesn't own any auto-rickshaw. They claim that they have strict norms for ensuring that auto-meters are not tampered and if you feel you are being over-charged, you can call up the call centre and lodge a complaint against the auto-driver.
Currently, the facility is available from 7.00 AM to 7.00 PM across the city. Depending the customer response, they are planning to extend the facility throughout the day.
You can contact the Call Auto facility on 044-3999 3999.
I guess this would help most of the regular auto-users to avoid haggling with the fares each time. But I guess the service charge of Rs20 is little high. Please share your experiences on this call auto if you have already used this.