The Jewar Airport, also called the Noida International Airport, is currently under construction. It is not only Asia’s largest airport, it is the fourth-largest airport in the world. The construction of the Airport is in full swing, and there are plans to set up a service named ‘pod taxi’ or driverless Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) that will facilitate connectivity between the Film City (Noida-Sec-16) to Jewar Airport.
The distance extends to about 14.1 km between the two destinations. ‘Pod taxi will be built at the cost of Rs 810 crores and will pass through Sector-29, 28, 31, and 32 of Noida and reach Film City from Jewar Airport. The taxi can accommodate four to six people in the car.
In 2021, BJP MLA Dhirendra Singh said that the taxi also symbolises eco-friendliness as it emits zero carbon footprints and is a modern-day initiative. It is cost-effective, pro-environmental, and convenient.
In 2017, the Union Minister of Transport, Nitin Gadkari, said that Rs 800 crore project would be implemented under the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). Pod taxis are electrically powered and hydrogen engines in countries where they are functional.
Shivankit Sharma, a transport expert and owner of the KK Sahib Bus service, highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the pod taxi services. He lauded the efforts to make the service a reality but also said some basic facilities need to be implemented to make the pod successful.
“If basic requirements such as road connectivity and electricity are fixed in Greater Noida first, it will be easier to commute. We should go step by step. If basic facilities are absent, then how will pod taxis be helpful?” he said.
He also noted that the pod taxis would consume less electricity than the metro. The areas through which pod taxis will travel will have to be developed first. The CEO of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Authority, Vir Singh, met with officials from the Indian Port Rail and Ropeway Corporate Limited.
He also said that the pod taxi project was approved by the state government during a meeting with a bid evaluation team in Lucknow on June 7, 2023. The global tenders are expected within a week and a concessionaire would be selected within two months.
“There are hardly five to six companies in the world which have the ability and expertise in developing pod taxi systems and, so far, all of them have expressed their interest in the project. He also added that the land acquisition for the corridor has been completed.
They were asked to study pod taxi transport case studies in countries like Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom. He said that a detailed project report had been prepared to make pod taxis a reality,
“The length of the corridor will be 14.1 km, and it will cost Rs 641.53 crore. The project report was prepared and presented before the Uttar Pradesh government, and those behind the initiatives have been asked to study pod taxi projects from Japan, Korea and the UK.”
He said that the work on the taxis would start soon as the UP government led by Yogi Adityanath gave a green signal to the project. This project will also provide a boost to tourism and industry.
Passengers landing at the Noida International Airport will be able to visit industrial clusters such as Handicraft Park, MSME Park, Apparel Park in Sector-29, industrial units in Sector -32 and the Toy Park along with other industrial units in Sector-33.
Famous Rapid Transports around the world are in Morgantown (West Virginia), Chengdu Tianfu Airport in China, which began its operations last year. Others include: Heathrow Airport, Masdar City in UAE, Suncheon (South Korea)