The Ola and Uber drivers’ strike has walked into its 5th day on Tuesday, and according to reports, 95% of such cabs remained off the streets of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). This meant that the business of these two taxi services to drop down by 90%. The drivers have been complaining about the unfair pricing and bad working conditions, and that has opened up some innate problems in how Uber and Ola function. The drivers have been protesting against the lowering of their incentives and commissions for driving the cabs.
At the time this article was published, Ola cabs (Share, Micro, Mini, Prime) were not found anywhere in the Delhi-NCR region. Uber cabs, on the other hand, could be booked but it involved a lot of hassle for the commuters. To begin with, most cabs had a waiting time of about 10-15 minutes. Now, if you are someone with a day job, it does create a lot of trouble as the cab arrives later than the scheduled time. To add on top of the bad time sense, Uber shows surge prices in the range of 2-3x as the availability of these cabs are scarce. On any other day, a UberGo from Noida Sector 62-Sector 10 costs at around Rs 130-140. But on the days of the strike, the price has gone up to RS 250 and above, even more at times. At times, drivers of the cab who have been booked cancel the trip citing difficult or busy routes.
The unavailability of cabs has also resulted in a price hike by auto rickshaw drivers in the region. These auto rickshaws sometimes charge insanely higher prices than their regular fares and refuse to bargain. Commuters have been forced to pay the hikes price in order to save time and whatever little money they can. Ola and Uber need to solve their issues with drivers or they might risk losing their already depleted consumer base. Additionally, the government should treat the drivers of Ola and Uber differently than single cab owners. There is a need for proper agreements in place between the company and the drivers. Incentive agreements need to be properly detailed to the drivers. Predatory pricing will anyway have to stop one day or the other.