Auto stands/Taxi ranks​

Adequate number of designated and authorised autorickshaw and taxi stands/ranks has been a longstanding demand of drivers. Let us look at the current situation as it exists and whether their demand is justified.

Autorickshaw stands

Delhi has 402 designated halt-and-go spots for auto-rickshaws notified by Delhi traffic police in 2009 in response to a public interest litigation initiated by Rakesh Agarwal, the president of Chaalak Shakti, in his personal capacity at that time.

The notification stipulates that maximum 5 autorickshaws can park at a spot. Therefore. the total capacity of these stands is 2010 against approximately 95,000 autorickshaws on the road in Delhi, thereby providing less than 2% of the number of autorickshaws in Delhi to halt and wait for passengers, or to pick them up or set them down.

Of these, only about half have been signposted. The rest are on paper and in papers. Neither the drivers nor the passengers know about the existence of these stands. Since enforcement authorities are equally ignorant, they often issue challans to autorickshaws for parking at or near these unmarked but authorised stands.

Apart from signposting, there are no other road markings for the benefit of autorickshaw drivers. No care or consideration is given to road design or ongoing traffic. Even basic infrastructure is missing

You may have seen thousands of autorickshaw stands in Delhi other than these 402. Well, they are illegal and prone to challaning or settling regular rent with police and other authorities.

In July 2019, Delhi Government had notified a further 511 spots as autorickshaw stands. It had claimed that all of them will be GPS enabled and can be tracked on smartphones. However, in reply to an RTI application, the transport department officials have feigned ignorance. There is nothing on the ground that any autorickshaw drivers has ever seen or is aware of, let alone a geo-tagged stand that can be tracked on a smartphone.

Taxi stands/ranks

The total number of taxi stands notified by Delhi Traffic Police is 517 including those at the airport, railway stations, and bus stations (ISBTs). These were notified back in the 1990s and early part of this century.

Since white taxes operating under aggregators were not around and the tourist taxis were few and far between, the stands were meant to serve only black and yellow taxis.

These stands have been turned into residential accommodation by the owners of black and yellow taxis. Contrary to the original ill-conceived plan, these stands have installed electricity connection, water connection, constructed offices and have, over a period, listed numerous tourist taxis, private number taxis and other vehicles.

These stands have essentially become the property of owners of original black and yellow taxis. Nobody from the outside is allowed to use these stands.

This is not how a taxi stand should be. In any case, the number is wholly inadequate for vehicles holding various permits such as for black and yellow taxis, white city taxis. tourist taxis. Apart from this number, many taxis registered in UP, Haryana and other states do their business majorly in Delhi.


Legally speaking, autorickshaw and taxi stands are required to be notified by Delhi government and constructed by civic agencies such as MCD, NDMC, Delhi Cantonment Board and development agencies such as DDA, and Delhi Government itself. None of them has either notified or constructed what is an essential feature of an urban settlement in any country.

An autorickshaw and a taxi occupy approximately the same amount of space when parked. Therefore, it makes sense to have common stands for both types of vehicles at most places.

The stands themselves should be of three types:

1. Halt & Go

It is a globally tested concept but lacks in proper execution in Delhi. This should be implemented in busy areas where there is a constant stream of both drivers and passengers. Autos and taxis must move in a “Lane” and operate on FIFA – First In First Out – basis but a driver must be permitted to refuse if the distance is greater than, say, 8 kms in the case of auto and 12 kms in the case of taxi.

2. Choose & Go

At these ranks, the vehicles will park themselves in “Bays” parallel to each other and will, optionally, display their chosen direction or destination. Vehicles may also display a “No Go” sign during the resting period. The driver may be given the liberty to choose his destination at the end of his workday or the time when he doesn’t want to ply for any reason. It causes no harm to anyone. When no chosen destination is displayed, the driver should be bound to accept every fare within the 8 and 12 km range for auto and taxi respectively.

3. Vishram & Go

Given that more than half of the autos and taxis need to be parked somewhere during the off-peak hours for a prolonged period and for drivers to use the opportunity to rest their limbs, the government should construct Terminals in the form of a large parking area together with a decently furnished Hall where minimum 100 vehicles can be parked and their drivers can take rest. As drivers get ready to go, they place their vehicle in a Lane and go into “HALT & GO” mode. The Hall should have facilities for resting, refreshments, watching television and other such amenities.