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Wheelchair taxi service Ezy Mov is set to go places

As a working woman living in Mumbai, Jasmina Khanna has a host of places to see and things to do. Despite having a personal driver and car, this 46-year old Senior Systems Engineer with Atos Syntel had to opt out of many outings as getting in and out of a car in a wheelchair was hard.

Her life has changed dramatically for over a year now, since she started using wheelchair taxi service, Ezy Mov.

I use Ezy Mov to travel to work every day, to visit a doctor, to attend social events, meet friends, shopping, etc. It is much cheaper than having your own car and driver. - Jasmina Khanna, Wheelchair user

Ezy Mov was launched in 2015 by Romeo Ravva, Rrajesh Patil and Bennet D'Cunha. The trigger, according to D'cunha was watching a young man with muscular dystrophy struggling to enter a vehicle in his wheelchair.

Over the years, what started off as a wheelchair taxi service for disabled people has also become popular with the elderly. Today, they have over 3,500 customers and they do 4,500 trips a month. They have a fleet of 20 taxis that can be booked through their website or their 24x7 call centre.

"We get fully booked the previous day and it is often hard to meet all the requests," says D'Cunha, who feels they need to increase the strength of their fleet by almost 300 vehicles.

The barrier they face in doing so is the cost factor. Ezy Mov uses the plug and play model, which works out quite expensive. To bring costs down, the founders are looking to modify the Maruti Eco. They have also developed a hydraulic lift, which has helped bring the costs down substantially.

Today, the cost to ride an Ezy Mov cab is Rs 25 per km, which is nearly 30% higher than regular cab aggregators like OLA and Uber, but as Khanna points out, "I can travel anywhere and everywhere without depending on others. The most important thing is that I travel with dignity."

D'Cunha says they are open to partnering "with well-wishers to associate with us in some format or the other." Ezy Mov has tied up with two top Mumbai hospitals to bring their patients. They are also getting demands from people to make their personal vehicles accessible. They modify about eight cars a month. The founders also take a lot of interest in sensitizing their drivers. A lot of time is invested in ensuring they use the right words and offer help in a sensitive manner.

By the end of the year, Ezy Mov hopes to expand services to Goa. Ezy Mov taxis will be launched in Mangalore, Delhi and Jamshedpur in March 2019.

ALSO READ: Inclusive Spaces - Ability on Wheels, Gujarat's first accessible taxi service

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