Uber Ahmedabad drivers on strike after income falls as company jacks-up target

By: | Published: December 10, 2016 6:23 AM

Even as online taxi aggregator Uber works to expand its base in India by adding newer cars, the declining per capita income of its driver-partners is causing unrest.

Even as online taxi aggregator Uber works to expand its base in India by adding newer cars, the declining per capita income of its driver-partners is causing unrest. About 500 driver-partners of Uber have embarked on a strike in Ahmedabad, after the company reportedly raised the target fare to be achieved by them to Rs 2,100 per day.

Earlier this week, driver-partners associated with Uber went offline from the app and raised banners at a prominent shopping mall in Ahmedabad, asking for regulations to be placed on the taxi aggregator’s recruitment of new driver-partners.

On their sixth day of strike, the driver-partners are now threatening to jump ship and join Uber’s direct competitor Ola, if the company does not reach a resolution soon.

Uber makes weekly payments to its drivers, which include incentives based on how many trips they conduct on a daily basis.

“There are reports of about 1,500 cars being plied in Ahmedabad by Uber. Daily, they are adding about five to10 new drivers to the system. Earlier, they were paying Rs 2,000 as incentive if a driver earned Rs 1,100 as fare in one day. They kept raising the target fares to Rs 1,400, Rs 1,500, Rs 1,700 and last week the target was raised to Rs 2,100; for which the company will pay Rs 4,000. All the drivers are ready to pick up fares, but now with these many cars plying in the city, how one can expect a driver to make Rs 2,100 each day,” said Yashwantsinh Vaghela, a legal advisor for the drivers’ association.

An Uber spokesperson said target structures are changed on a fairly regular basis, based on the size of the city and the demand and supply for vehicles in the city. They are not uniform across the nation.

The drivers have demanded that a regulatory authority appointed by the Gujarat state government or the Regional Transport Office look into the functioning of taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola, and bring regulations on how many cars they be allowed to ply in a particular city.

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