Photo via this Facebook set
Finally took a ride in a Nano Cab. It really says something for the marketing behind a cheap, tiny car that the kid saw this as a treat. He has literally counted every Nano he sees on the streets since they came out. I think it’s 18.
So, how’s the Nano itself? The official number is (+94) 11 2 676 767. I didn’t order so can’t comment on that. Our fare was from Dehiwela (William Grinding Mills) to Kollupitiya (near McDonalds, or is that Bamba?) and it cost Rs. 274. Which is about what you’d pay for a trishaw.
The Nano sounds a bit like a trishaw from the outside, with an engine placed near the back. The driver said it was two cylinders, and I think it has about 620 cc. The thing runs fine, normal speed, no jerks or delays. Inside it’s actually quite roomy, though you do feel that the doors are rather thin. There’s A/C.
When the car hits bumps you feel it, but besides that it’s a comfortable experience. Also way, way, quieter than a trishaw, way less odorous (more odifying?) and perceptibly less dangerous. They also give you a printed receipt, which is nice.
Meter tuks have gotten extremely dodgy lately. The services don’t return calls and the outstation drivers, growing accustomed to Colombo, have started driving like dicks. Nano Cabs are a good alternative, but they still seem over booked. We’ve been trying for weeks and only just got a ride.
That’s the power of innovation I guess. Cheap can have value if it’s done right.