Welcome Sister

Recently I had gone to Goa. It was my first visit to the place but definitely not the last. I need to go there quite frequently to know more & more about that wonderful place. Nice excuse, eh ? ;)

Till my visit there, I knew of Goa as a place of beautiful beaches, churches, Goan food & music and some carnivals. Today, I’ll tell you something unique about this beautiful city of India which I was not aware of.

To experience a new place, I generally make it a point to travel at least once in the local mode of transport. So that day was a ‘bus day’. Nothing unusual happened there but after a tired day when I was getting down from the state run bus at a bus stop, I was suddenly overwhelmed to hear 5-6 male voices calling out “Welcome sister, welcome sister”.

Ahaa ! What luck ! So many brothers in an unknown city !! They were all on motorcycles. I was beaming with joy errr… confusion. Before I could happily hug them like a long lost sister in a mela (fair), I was pulled back to senses by telling me that they were “pilots”.
Pilots on motorcycles ???
Yup, they are called pilots and they are actually taxi drivers.
Pilots riding motorcycles are taxi drivers ?? I almost fell down.

Taxi driver

Yes, an interesting mode of conveyance in Goa is the “motorcycle taxi”. These “taxis” carry only one passenger and the lone passenger can carry only a backpack or a small bag as luggage.
Motorcycle taxis are a licensed form of transport in Goa and they are much cheaper than other normal taxis. These motorcycle taxis can normally be identified by their yellow-and-black coloured paint and they have proper taxi stands as well. The fare are supposed to be fixed in advance, the rides are not metered.
And they always welcome ladies with “Welcome sister” !!

Taxi stand

Isn’t that a welcoming gesture ??

As far as I know the other cities where one can see motorcycle taxis are London, Bangkok and Phnom-Penh of Cambodia .

So, how many of you knew that Goa is the only city/state in India where motorcycle taxis are available ??

16 Comments

  • Nandan says:

    Well, I have heard about them. But when I was there 2 years back, the only time I have been to Goa and I agree that I need to visit more to learn more :), I didn;t see them.

    Personally I dont think many would be aware about this. I liked the concept and probably we should try this in other places. Thanks for sharing.

    Whats the next thing we are going to read Cuckoo ?

  • Cuckoo says:

    Well, I think we don’t see/notice them because we, the tourists generally go by guided tours & private taxis. These motorcycle taxi stands are generally near the bus stops.

    Someone left comment on my blog saying it was started in Kochi but apparently stopped for some reason.

    Next thing ? Goa, of course ! :D

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Almost 25 years back, I took a ride on the “Motor Cycle Taxi”. Those days, the return ticket reservations could be done only locally or through some wireless messages eminating from the boarding station (in our case, it was Delhi). The station master gave us a printed message, which was to be shown at the Vasco de Gama staion and the railway authorities would then confirm your booking.

    The “pilots” are normally very friendly and good guides too. I am told that this ‘service” is still very active and the locals make use of this mode very frequently.

    Well written and crisp. Thanks for refreshing our memories of the good old days.

    Would look forward to your fortcoming posts

  • Neerja Dhall says:

    Once again thanks for sharing an amazing fact with us.I have never heard of the concept ………it sounds quite interesting and outlandish.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Very well written.

    The very first time I heard about this about 20 years back in a TV program called “Aisa bhi hota hein”, and experienced during my first visit to Goa in 1994.

    I will also come up my Goa story.

  • Celine says:

    Great title for a post Cuckoo.

    Yes, in Phnom-Penh too and I’ve had a few good rides while there, sometimes also sandwiched between another passenger and the so called ‘pilots riding motorcycles who are called taxi drivers’ LOL

    Now Part 2. :)

  • Avinash says:

    I don’t know about London, Bangkok and Phnom-Penh of Cambodia coz I have never visited these places but yes, African Continent is having this facility in most of its countries. I have seen it in DR of Congo, Uganda & Rwanda and have in fact taken a ride. These are called “BODA BODA” there.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Ram,
    Thanks for sharing those lovely moments with us. I am glad that my post reminded you of those good old days.

    Yes, the taxi service is very popular much more than an autoricksha because it is cheaper and faster.

    Thanks for the appreciation. :)

    Neerja,
    Yes, it is interesting as well as fun too. They are mostly available near the bus stops and office goers getting down from buses take them for shorter distances. I even saw ladies using them after some sundry shopping.

    You are welcome, keep coming.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Upanshu,
    Thank you very much.
    I am glad that my post could remind you to come up with a post on Goa. Waiting to know more about the place.

    Celine,
    Thank you very much, dear.
    Sandwiched between two ?? That must have been some fun.

    Avinash,
    Thank you very much for telling us some new places to use this service. And that Boda Boda sounds so much African. :D.

  • Bhooma says:

    In vietnam the motorcycle taxis are called Xe om and very convenient to get around town It is intersting to know that we have this India too where people are generally so conservative to travel with a stranger.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Bhooma,
    Thanks for letting us know that.
    Well, Goa is a small place and I think it is much safer to travel there than many of our cities. I saw ladies taking such taxis after getting down from bus or after doing their shopping.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Its very Interesting to know about Motorcycle Taxi stand. Just like Bhoomaji I too was thinking that how people(esp women) agree to travel with the strangers. Though in Autos also one travel with a stranger, but on an Auto there is a distance. May be in that case “welcome sister” is the trick.

    Its sounds a good idea as in the beautiful terrain of Goa, I would prefer to travel on a bike rather than on an auto.

    Hoping to read more of such unusual rides/travel accounts.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Manish,
    Ha Ha.. yeah maybe you right on that trick of ‘welcome sister’. :D

    The bike is extremely popular there. Not everybody can afford a taxi or an auto daily, buses don’t go till your doorstep so the bike. Cheaper and faster, can get away in traffic jams also.

  • backpakker says:

    I was so curious reading the title..was expecting a story filled with sentiments , but what an interesting post …

    lakshmi

  • testerrahul says:

    At a village near Bangladesh border, I was once told that only “Helicopters” are available for commuting);-

    The “Helicopter” turned out to be a bicycle with a big back carrier where two persons can fit in.

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