Soon, Your Ola and Uber Rides may get costlier; How?

Ola and Uber Drivers
The Online taxi service Ola and Uber drivers have planned a one-day strike in Delhi and NCR on Tuesday to protest “low pay”, the second such action this year.

New Delhi, April 18: The app based Online taxi services Ola and Uber drivers have planned a one-day strike in Delhi and NCR on Tuesday to protest “low pay”, the second such action this year.

Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association, the agitating union — which organized a thirteen-day long cab strike in the NCR in February 2017, has called for the fresh strike demanding that taxi cab fares be raised from Rs 6 per kilometer to Rs 20 per kilometer.

The strikers will gather at Mata Sundari Gurudwara off the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and will march to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house in Civil Lines.

Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association, which claims to represent over 1 lakh Online app-based taxi drivers in the national capital region (NCR), has also been demanding a rollback of the 25 percent commission drivers are charged by companies like Ola and Uber.

As per the union, some groups of tourist taxi providers, autorickshaw union have extended their support to the strike, which means private transport service in Delhi and neighboring cities will be hit badly. Their main demands are:

  • The Association, which claims to represent around 1.25 lakh app-based taxis in the Delhi, and National Capital Region (NCR), wants that fares be increased from existing Rs 6 per km to around 20 per km.
  • It also demands the abolition of 25% commission the drivers are charged by companies.
  • They also demand a stop be put to ‘share’ service employed by Ola and Uber, where many commuters share a cab to various points in the city lying along one route.
  • They also want that these taxis be run according to a Delhi government authorized meter, which should be certified by Standardisation Testing and Quality certification (STQC).

Kamaljeet Gill, Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association of Delhi president told to news agency IANS that: “These companies are big scammers. Just as a crook sells movie ticket in ‘black’, when there are more buyers than there are seats, they too do the same, they only name it ‘Surge’ pricing or ‘peak-hour’ pricing. They tell you that you will be charged Rs 6 per kilometer but you end up paying Rs 18-20 instead.”

Meanwhile, Ravi Rathore, vice-president of the Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association, said. “A protest march will be taken out from Majnu-ka-Tila to the Delhi Chief Minister’s residence in Civil Lines. There is anger among drivers that Delhi government is not intervening in raising their issues with Ola and Uber.”

He said the association has called for the one-day strike in favor of the demands and if companies and government do not pay heed, they will go on an indefinite strike.

According to the Sarvodaya association, the online app-based cab companies made “tall promises” to drivers– like they would earn as much as Rs 1.5 lakh every month.

“But the situation is different. They are making us run taxis at Rs 6 per km while they charge 25% from us,” Ravi Rathore also said.

Meanwhile, Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union (yellow-black taxis) said they will not participate in the strike conducted by the online taxi drivers.

“We will not support the strike in Delhi,” Rajendra Soni, the general secretary of Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union (yellow-black taxis), said.

Earlier on Monday, the Delhi High Court restrained two taxi drivers’ unions – the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) and the Rajdhani Tourist Drivers’ Union – from disrupting services of cabs run by Ola and Uber in the NCR.

Welcoming the court order, Uber in a statement said it hopes it will enable drivers to stay behind the wheel, without fear or harassment.

“We are hopeful that the order will be effectively enforced and that action is taken against any person who attempts to block cabs, confiscate devices or harass riders and drivers and that the safety of everyone using the Uber App in Delhi is ensured.”

“We are committed to keeping Delhi moving and ensuring a reliable experience for riders and drivers,” Uber said.

Meanwhile, in another case, the Central Government told on the Delhi High Court that it had set up a panel that has proposed guidelines for regulating taxi services in the country and that the proposal has been sent to the state governments for action.

The Delhi High Court was hearing petitions by radio taxi operators against Ola and Uber being allowed to operate without valid licenses. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 10 to include changes in cab policies.

(With Agency inputs)