Commuters are facing shortage of cabs for the third consecutive day, as Ola and Uber taxi drivers have refused to render services unless their demands are fulfilled by their respective management boards. According to reports, drivers are demanding an increase in incentives, provision of sufficient insurance policies and reduction of working hours. The demand for insurance was sparked off after an accident took place in New Delhi, where in the Uber driver lost his life.
Additionally, they have also suggested that the minimum fare should be increased from Rs. 6 per kilometer, which is much lower than the Rs. 16 minimum fare for air-conditioned cabs in the city. In New Delhi, the strike is being organised by Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, which accounts for nearly 2,000 drivers. The association is looking to rope in around 40,000 to 50,000 more derivers to join them in the protest.
The strike has entered its third day, with similar protests being held in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, as reported by MoneyControl. On January 30, 2017, Ola sent an e-mail to its users, informing them of lower fares in Mumbai. Under the offer, ‘Fares don’t get lower than this’, advertised new lows for fares on cabs in Mumbai. This came as a major loss of income for the drivers, although it was well received by Ola users.
Additionally, the Karnataka Government proposed a complete ban on car pooling in the state, citing it to be ‘illegal’. In the first week of February, the Karnataka Government sent out a legal notice to the Ola, Uber and the likes, stating that car pooling will be temporarily available, adding that it will however come to a complete standstill after a fortnight. “Across India, since the launch of uberPOOL in December 2015, we have saved over 32 million kilometres travelled, over 1.5 million litres of fuel and cut over 3.5 million kgs carbon dioxide emissions,” said an Uber India spokesperson, as reported by MoneyControl.