Magic Sewa: A new women-friendly cab service has an app and a real alarm button in the car

Magic Sewa: A new women-friendly cab service has an app and a real alarm button in the car

By: || Updated: 23 Dec 2015 05:45 PM
New Delhi: Yep, Ola and Uber are still fighting it out with the authorities. Meanwhile, someone's added a new cab service along the same lines to the mix.

Magic Sewa also has an app (on Android, so far) and you can use it to call a nice new swanky sedan. You can also message @MagicSewa on Twitter and make a request there or head to their website.
This is a very new service, so there aren't very many cabs yet, but the fleet is being increased each month. Naturally, that means for now it's best to order a cab well in advance. (The service was started by Rakesh Agarwal, a social activist who has run an NGO for over a decade.)

The cabs are all CNG based and have all the necessary clearances from the Delhi government -- that's where they operate, for now.
I went on several rides in Magic Sewa cabs and reached my destinations a happy camper. Nice polite drivers, no surge pricing, and a big physical button fitted into the cars, helped. If pressed, the button will trigger off a loud hooter alerting half the world around and the call center for Magic Sewa. It can also only be switched off from the call center, so the driver can do little about shutting it up.

The Magic Sewa app is really basic. This is among the things they plan to upgrade if and when they get funding.

With the explosion of taxi (and bike-taxi) startups, will this one survive? Magic Sewa is no cash-rich Uber. It ain’t even Gurgaon bike-taxi-service Baxi, which got $1.5 million in funding. It’s been started by Rakesh Agarwal, “a social activist who has been running an NGO since 2002”. Its small fleet is all new sedans with well-trained drivers who’ve been through ‘three layer verification’. So I don’t know about their staying power, but I for one hope they’ll survive and thrive.

There’s also bike-taxi services and apps like Baxi (whose hub is Gurgaon’s HUDA Metro terminus. Rs 10 plus Rs 4 per km)

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