Metros and buses are likely to run choked on Monday with Uber and Ola cabs pledging to remain off the roads in the fourth day of their strike that has seen nearly most of the 1.5 lakh taxis on the two platforms being unavailable.
The day could have been worse if auto and taxi unions joined the protest as was feared last week.
Uber and Ola — which offer cab rides to people at rates much lower than non-app-based taxis —shot to popularity in the last couple of years with thousands signing up to use and offer services on the platform. But drivers are now protesting slashed incentives, increased commission rates, declining number of rides, long working hours and decreased earnings.
Last week, representatives of a drivers’ union — Sarvodaya Driver Association Delhi (Uber and Ola) — said autos and taxis would also participate in their agitation.
But auto and taxi drivers, whose business was eaten into by Ola and Uber’s services, decided on Sunday to not be a part of the strike.
■ Perks given for meeting targets (a fixed number of rides within a specific time period) reduced significantly
■ Cabs charge Rs 6 per km, lower than autos
■ No limit on the hours a cab is driven. Drivers drive for 16-17 hours
■ No cap on number of cabs that can ply under Ola/Uber Driver demands
■ Drivers want the old incentives be brought back
■ Drivers also say that fare be increased to Rs 8-9/km
■ They are demanding fixed working hours (12 hours)
■ Drivers want the government to put a cap on the total number of cabs in city
“Uber and Ola had helped snatch away our livelihoods; why would we strike in solidarity with them? Taxi stands and auto stands especially outside railway stations, metro stations, etc, will be available for the people,” said Rajendra Soni, the general secretary of Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union and the Delhi Auto rickshaw Sangh.
But with at least a lakh of the cabs off the road, Metro trains and buses are likely to run choked and autos may be hard to find especially during rush hour traffic.
The Delhi Metro said it will keep a close watch on the ridership and frequency of trains will be “adequate” to meet any increase in demand. The network caters to approximately 30 lakh people daily on average. Monday is likely to see that number rise.
Services from radio-taxi operators such as Mega and Meru, and the traditional kaali-peeli (black and yellow) will be unaffected.
Some drivers for Ola and Uber have defied the strike, but are often intercepted by groups affiliated to the unions who force them off the roads. Waiting times on the two platforms averaged around 15-20 minutes on Sunday, with surge pricing at times doubling the rates.