Bike taxis JuJu by group of young entrepreneurs help tourists ride out Darjeeling transport troubles

JuJu is changing Darjeeling’s travel scene and it has been welcomed by tourists and local people alike.

JuJu in colloquial Nepali means let’s go. A group of young entrepreneurs in Darjeeling started a two-wheeler taxi service for tourists and local people on January 9.


During the current tourism season during which long traffic snarls are unavoidable, the service has caught everyone’s attention and gained importance, too.

“We realised that if people wanted to visit villages during the day, it was difficult to find vehicles. This is because most public vehicles come from villages to Darjeeling town in the mornings and return in the evenings,” said Shivam Rai, 26, explaining their business concept. “Also, we wanted to provide a cheaper alternative to tourists to travel around town.”

Shivam, Sahabaz Hassan, Senhang Subba, Sabin Tamang, Navin Chettri and Risav Gurung in the age bracket of 25-35 years pooled their resources to test the waters.

The initiative is successful in a town plagued by traffic snarls, narrow roads and the lack of an efficient public travel system.

“Our network now consists of around 35 two-wheelers,” said Shivam. Dedicated numbers have been circulated and by next month, the JuJu team expects to launch an app for booking.

The bike taxi aggregator charges Rs 15 per kilometre with a base amount of Rs 30 irrespective of the distance. The motorbikes are owned by individuals, who take passengers as pillion riders and from whom the JuJu team charges commission.

In Darjeeling where no metered taxis are available, moving around town is an expensive affair.

“We found this service convenient, hassle-free and time-saving,” said Divya Chatterjee, a young tourist from Salt Lake, Calcutta.

Not only tourists but local people also are preferring the new mode of public transport in the hill town.

Vikram Rai, an assistant professor at St Joseph’s College, North Point, said: “These days, I am regularly using the services of JuJu to reach the college. It is a much-needed relief for daily commuters like me during the tourism season.”

The JuJu team has decided to provide free services to students appearing for university examinations starting from June 14.

“I, too, used to study at Salesian College in Sonada and I know the problem students face when they have to reach on time for examinations during the tourism season. I, too, was late at times and that is why we have decided to provide free rides,” said Shivam.

The free rides will be from Darjeeling town to nearby colleges.

During the monsoon, JuJu services will provide raincoats to pillion riders. The services are available till 9 pm every day…


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