Ola, Uber drivers strike hits commuters hard

Ola, Uber drivers strike hits commuters hard

The strike is said to be observed in key cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, and aims to voice the drivers' woes of not being able to cover rising costs due to falling businesses. The fare for a journey from Thane to CSMT (Fort area) was around Rs 1,250 on UberGO while a share cab fare was more than Rs 1,000 for the same route. For instance, between CSMT station to Churchgate station, the fare of Uber Go was Rs 152 and Ola Micro showed Rs 132.

"I tried booking an Ola, and although the app displayed that cabs are available, I couldn't make a booking", says Jimmy George, an employee of multinational in Bangalore. After the banks repossess vehicles, Ola and Uber buy the same and lease them out to new drivers.

Ola and Uber drivers are protesting against inadequate remuneration. It will not be a violent protest but a silent one with drivers expected to be off duty.

While Ola declined to comment, an Uber spokesperson said termed the strike call as a speculative.

Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena told PTI, "Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs". "As far as Uber is concerned, police from Chirag Nagar have asked us for two days to set up a meeting with their representatives", Naik said.

Currently, India accounts for over 10 per cent of Uber's global trips. Even the fare amount, which was INR 10 per km back then, the drivers used to receive an amount nearly double amounting to great returns.

"Sometimes I drive past my passengers as I see angry cab drivers waiting for me on the side of the road", he said. "While the expenses we bear are much higher in comparison".

Drivers were making a fraction of what was promised to them when they partnered with the companies, he added. Drivers of the cab aggregators allege that the firms are biased when it comes to granting them long rides, with which comes more money. However, owing to the strike it has been hard to operate today. "Let me warn them, that if our drivers decide to act, their bouncers will not be any match for their collective strength". Past year too, drivers went on an indefinite strike in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru demanding higher incentives, a lesser number of rides and more incentives for share and pool services.

Despite many attempts, there was no response from Ola. "While the companies claim that drivers are their partners, they are not given appropriate remuneration or financial benefits", said Naik.