Pet friendly cabs, our cities need one
We recently moved from Mumbai to Delhi. It was a case of complete relocation and had us planning well in advance. The sale of the family car to movers and packers all were in planners and in place as we neared shifting date. We also had two fully grown labs who were part of the traveling contingent. We seemed to have all in control. The goods were to leave a day earlier leaving only bare essentials for us to pack and carry in two days. We had Rajdhani tickets for us all including the dogs. Yes, dogs are allowed in first class coaches in trains!
In all this, the one way travel to the station remained unknown. Some basic Internet research advised us to rely on Uber as our pet friendly taxi service. We checked their policy to be doubly sure and true to what we found online they allowed pets as long as the cab driver had no issues with it.
So then came the D day. The heavy stuff had left, the car had be sold and then suddenly the house and compound revealed so much more space ! We decided to book our Uber and leave well in time for the station. Little did we know what lay ahead. Uber Go, Uber X, Uber Black, Uber SUV, car after car, booking after booking all declined when we mentioned the occupants of the car. In a desperate attempt we mailed Uber. Only to be assured of a response within “soon”. The local taxi stand also had no takers.
With less than an hour, we were resigning to the fact that we may miss the train. As a final role of the dice we reached out to Furry Fliers who claimed to offer a pet friendly taxi service in the city. They however said they were not direct service providers and advised we directly speak to the taxi fellow.
At first he was reluctant, later only to agree for a sum of 3000 rupees for a one way trip to Mumbai Central. That meant we were being charged at the rate of 100/km!
As we settled into our seats in a train that we almost missed inspite of all the advance planning, it struck me as odd that in a bustling metropolis like Mumbai the concept of a taxi that allowed your pet to travel with you (pet cabs) was highly uncommon and extremely inconvenient.
Needless to say the story in Delhi was exactly the same. To avoid a similar fiasco we called in favours with friends while on the train itself and had them have us pick us up on arrival.
A pet friendly taxi/pet taxi, a seemingly small variation to our regular taxi service that we take for granted is a gap that is shouting out to be filled in our cities. The non availability could potentially cripple pet parents in times of need as it almost did with us, in Mumbai.
From both a necessity perspective and a convenience perspective a pet friendly taxi service is a service our metropolis could do with.
The experience and the thought led us to start a pet taxi service in Delhi. Collarfolk Pet Taxi which started as a trial concept using our personal cars has slowly and steadily witnessed acceptance amongst pet parent in and around Delhi. We had to invest in our own vehicle as taxi vendors remain averse to this concept and those who are open to the idea remain sceptical of its economic viability.
Having put money where our mouth is, we hope to steadily expand and grow this service as a growing set of pet parents find convenience in such a service offering. Book your Pet Taxi Now!
The journey has only begun and we hope through this journey we do our little bit in making our cities a little more pet friendly and convenient.