New Delhi: The Pod Taxis, which were under discussion for some time, will now finally become a reality in Gurgaon. These taxis are a result of a project called the Metrino-a PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system in which pods are suspended from an overhead rail.
According to a media report, the national Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has laid the groundwork to roll out India's first PRT network and will invite global bids for the project soon. The estimated budget for this 13km long project (from the Gurgaon-Delhi border to Badshapur Mod on Sohna Road) is Rs 850 crore.
A Personal Rapid Transit network is made up of small automated vehicles running at close intervals on a guideway with docking stations for passengers to get on and get off.
The authority has planned 16 stations initially, starting Ambience Mall. Each pod can accommodate up to five passengers. There is also an option to hire an entire pod that will take a passenger straight to the destination, skipping the scheduled stops. The average speed of the pods is 60kmph.
A senior NHAI official said the network would be built within a year of the contract being allocated.
"Pod taxi systems are best suited for this. We are keeping our options open, though, so that private players can come up with best system, including skyrail," the official said. A skyrail is also a PRT system, but is more similar to a ropeway.
Haryana government agencies have the land which is needed for the project. Also there is no requirement of forest and environmental clearance. The entire of investment for the project will be done by the private company that sets up the PRT. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will recover its investment in 25 years through tickets.
Last year, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had made an announcement that Metrinos will run between Dhaula Kuan in Delhi and Manesar.
The NHAI stated that while building a kilometre of Metro costs at least Rs 250 crore and of monorail Rs 200 crore, the Metrino system can be built with just Rs 70 crore.