Cities against Ola and Uber

Credits: The Hindu

 

Krati Purwar and Megha Mallick

According to a 2019 report of The Hindu, frustrated with the unreliable services, people are going back to the public transport. Customers are annoyed with the increasing number of cancelled rides and fare hikes. “These platforms are no longer a reliable option for commuting in the city,” said Suman Joshi, a senior IT professional, who embraced shared mobility a few years ago after selling her car. 

Strikes against cab aggregators

“Auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers are losing their employment due to wrong transport polices of the government and also due to low fares offered to commuters by cab aggregators,” said Inderjeet Singh, chairman of the All India Tour and Transport Association said in an NDTV report, 2018. 

Following the problems the auto-rickshaw union went on strike against the policies of Delhi government on cab aggregators. This was not the first protest against cab aggregators. Taxi unions had conducted strikes in Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. However, their popularity and offers has helped them survive in the Indian market. 

Delhi

In 2016, the government started pushing its own app called PoochO which allows people to call autos and taxis at the press of a button on their phones.

According to a 2017 report of Zee Business, Delhi’s cab union called Chaalak Shakti launched its own taxi-hailing app called SEWA and claimed to have more than 5,000 drivers on the platform.

In a 2018 Economic Times report, the capital was planning to bring taxis in vibrant colours so that commuters can spot them easily. The transport department intended to leave the kaali-peeli taxis operating in the city and numbering around 40,000 out of the scheme. “These black-and-yellow taxis are iconic of Delhi and have sported those colours historically. The colours are also quite popular with tourists visiting the city and we have decided not to change them,” a transport department official said. 

Chennai

In Chennai, OTS cabs was launched last year, with an aim to take on Ola and Uber. Its proprietor, S.Sampath said that the highlight of their service is standard pricing which they ought to follow. They have autos, mini cabs, sedans and SUVs at their disposal.

Mumbai

According to another Local Press report of 2016, the Maharashtra government allowed black and yellow taxis along with fleet taxi operators to move over to app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber, provided they abide by certain norms. Hence, several kaali-peeli cab drivers partnered with these ride-hailing firms for better prospects. 

According to a 2019 Local Press report, Ola & Uber combined boast of nearly 3.5 lakh daily rides, compared to just 36,000 for the kaali-peeli (black-yellow) cabs. 

Kolkata

This year, the city got a new cab aggregator, Q Cab, which has vowed to offer “different segment of cab services at the most reasonable fare.” The services can be availed throughout the city by the app. They, alongside providing basic, super, premier and premium services, also have ladies special cabs.  In May, another cab service called Obey and last year Zust Go was launched in the city. These cabs claim that they won’t resort to dynamic pricing like Ola and Uber but would have a uniform rate. 

Bengaluru

In 2016, the state government of Karnataka brought out a detailed taxi-app policy to regulate players like Ola and Uber, including a price ceiling.