Ride-hailing apps with T-safe service to make travel safer for women in Telangana

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Since the Telangana Police launched Travel Safe (T-Safe), a ride-monitoring application earlier last week, citizens in the State have been experiencing safer rides. The app has hit 230 downloads on Play Store over the past five days.

Moreover, as per the data shared with The Hindu by Telangana Women Safety Wing, between March 12 and March 16, 668 trips and 456 deviations were created through the app with an average trip time of 391.2 minutes.

Also, 251 SOS and 228 ‘Sent Dial 100 SOS’ were created through the app. Most were either created by users testing the app or owing to to a lack of response to verification calls, an official from the Woman Safety Wing explained.

A ride-monitoring application  T-Safe was launched by Telangana Police on March 12, 2024.
| Photo Credit:
Screenshot of the T-Safe app.

This first-of-its-kind ride-monitoring service in India is aimed at making transit across the State safer for women, children and other vulnerable groups and has been taken well by users. “The app gives me a feeling of safety ,” said an IT employee. While many appreciated the user-friendly interface, most agreed on the improved sense of safety in their everyday commute. 

The service works cohesively with the ‘Dial 100’ police helpline number. However, a special T-Safe helpdesk has been set up under the State’s Women Safety Wing to monitor the working of the system. A pilot was carried out to fine tune various features of the app prior to its launch.

Unlike other safety apps, this service can be used even without a smartphone. A new option, ’8’, has been introduced in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu of the emergency number 100, which sends an automated link. On activation, T-Safe will monitor the journey and send a safety check trigger 15 minutes into the ride. If the user fails to respond to it, another one is sent after three minutes. In case the user fails to respond to the security triggers or there is a deviation from the original route, an alert is automatically created to initiate police response. The app sends a live tracking link to the police patrol vehicle.

Notably, the user gets to pick a four-digit passcode to start and stop monitoring. In case the phone is damaged or lost, automatic alert will be generated.

According to Additional Director-General of Police at Women Safety Wing Shikha Goel, Telangana is now witnessing a significant upshoot in the working-women population alongside increasing number of those working late hours. “Since there is a lot of movement of women for education and work in the State and they often travel late at night, this app will ensure that they are always being monitored,“ she said.

Integration with cab aggregators  

“The Telangana Police is already in talks with major cab aggregators operating in the State for integration of user data,” Ms. Shikha said. 

Cab-aggregator applications already have the provision for sending a prompt to check on the safety of the user in cases of an unusually long halt or a major detour. Many even make an automated call to the customer to ensure their safety throughout the journey.

However, this feature does not warrant any further course of action in case of a real emergency. “In phase II of T-Safe, which will be launched soon, we aim to close this gap by asking cab aggregators to integrate their data with police servers so that immediate help can reach the passengers when the need arises,” Ms. Shikha explained.  

Safe Gaadi QR code integration, vehicle/driver rating mechanism, panic button integration are some of the other features that will be introduced in the second phase.

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