Aurora Magazine

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Hail a Paxi

Updated Mar 22, 2017 10:56am
PAXI, a taxi service catering exclusively to women, will officially begin services on March 23, 2017.

After the success of transportation network companies such as Uber and Careem in Pakistan, entering the market now is PAXI (pink-taxi). Launched by PAXI Pakistan Private Limited, it is a taxi service that caters exclusively to women. The soft launch took place on Women’s Day (March 8) in Karachi, and services will officially begin on March 23, 2017.

According to Shaikh Muhammad Zahid, CEO and Co-Founder, Paxi Pakistan, the absence of an efficient transport system has always been a problem in the country, especially for women.

“PAXI has identified this niche and is exclusively offering Pink Taxis for women where they will be accompanied by skilled female drivers called ‘pilots’,” says Zahid.

PAXI claims to be the first registered company with all relevant authorities including the FBR, SECP and KMC. It offers clean, comfortable and air-conditioned taxis as well as accidental insurance coverage. The vehicles, they say, are equipped with fire extinguishers and first-aid medical kits for emergencies. People can book the service via an app, call centre, SMS or by hailing taxis on the road. Zahid says the prices are competitive. “The payment structure is calculated according to the distance and duration of the journey.”

The drivers – or pilots – are students and housewives from middle and lower-middle income segments and aged between 19 to 50 years, who want to help their families financially. Zahid says these women appreciated the platform since they can now earn a living in a safe environment. The minimum education required for the pilots is matriculation.

Along with pink taxis, the company will provide two more services beginning March 23: Bike Taxis and PAXI-Taxi for both men and women.

Currently, PAXI has a fleet of about 10 pink taxis, 23 brand new bikes and 50 taxis/rickshaws. Zahid points out that there are no competitors in the Pink Taxi and Bike Taxi services. “It’s a blue ocean for us,” he remarks.

With regard to the security of the pilots, who can be vulnerable to abuse and misbehaviour on the roads, the company is taking certain measures to ensure the safety of their drivers and passengers.

“We are taking measures to protect them by making sure that all female pilots keep their doors and windows locked at all times. We have restricted their hours to ‘day-time’ only and certain ‘no-go areas’ have been defined,” says Zahid.

Zahid adds that although there are tracker systems in the vehicles, at a later stage the cars will be equipped with a kill switch, camera and pepper sprays. “We cannot take responsibility for law enforcement as that’s not our job but our female pilots are instructed not to take any chances if they do not feel safe,” he says.

In terms of advertising, the company is only focusing on social media and word of mouth at the moment. The company is very optimistic about the launch and will initially focus on corporate clients. The next step for PAXI will be to work towards national expansion. “Once we have control over most of the Karachi market, we will expand quickly to other cities to make sure that we stay the main provider of our related services. Our network can create a strong position for us and make it harder for competitors to enter the market,” says Zahid.

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Comments (13)

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ga Mar 21, 2017 05:10pm

That's all well and good but please calling them pilots! They are Not pilots unless those rickshaws can fly.

Mahmud Mar 21, 2017 05:11pm

Wish you good luck. Many attempts have been made in the past for female only buses but could not catch on.

Shabana Mar 21, 2017 05:45pm

Good luck!

Earning a Halal money is a virtue!

Uber and Kareem can hire the Female Drivers too.

More Competition Better Service

Zein Mar 21, 2017 08:36pm

@ga one has to understand the real meaning of pilot. Pi-lot, drink lot of beverages. Its nice have this name.

opinion Mar 21, 2017 08:37pm

Can families that have with male with them ride in this taxi?

Sarwar, USA. Mar 21, 2017 08:45pm

Well done . Start on routes with heavy female traffic. Like University, colleges Nazimabad etc.

madan bhatia Mar 21, 2017 10:30pm

This is a lesson for Other countries in which women traveling alone are considered unsafe.

Bhatti Mar 21, 2017 11:31pm

Good work Paxi!

Khalid Ahmad Mar 22, 2017 11:24am

I am from Kashmir (IOK) I also wanna this step in Kashmir it is good move.

Agha Ata Mar 22, 2017 08:49pm

It is no pride in protecting our women from our men who were always supposed to protect them. Introducing Paxies have deepened the demarcation line between the sexes; not good. I have a question: What are we teaching and to whom?

Muhammad Arshad Mar 23, 2017 11:22am

Good One

Seedoo Mar 23, 2017 06:04pm

Why catering only to just women? We have too much of this segregation between men and women, and this leads to a more dysfunctional society where women are discriminated against. People in Pakistan think this sort of stuff offers protection to women, but it works just the opposite in the long run. Bottom line, men and women should be treated equally and should work together. This is how it works in all the developed countries in the world.

Umair Apr 18, 2017 03:33pm

good one. Great for females