The Delhi Metro recorded a 6.5% increase in ridership on Monday as commuters continued to face a tough time in the capital owing to the strike called by Ola and Uber drivers.
A number of office-goers had to resort to alternative ways to reach their workplace on Monday morning. However, there were still some who were stumped by the lack of Ola and Uber vehicles.
Those who arrived at the Delhi airport or railway station in the morning were the worst hit with the return of surge pricing. The strike entered its fourth day on Monday.
Metro and buses witnessed increased riderships in the morning and evening peak hours. “The metro recorded a ridership of 23.71 lakh up to 8pm on Monday, whereas, last Monday the figure was 22.26 lakh till the same time. Lack of cabs could be a reason for the increase,” a metro spokesperson said.
In most cases, auto rickshaw drivers were reportedly fleecing commuters and refused to go by the metre. “I paid ₹270 for an auto ride from New Delhi railway station to CR Park. The usual rate is ₹120 by metre and ₹150 otherwise. When I tried bargaining, they sarcastically asked me to book an Ola instead,” said Junhai Jaiswal, who arrived in the capital early on Monday.
A number of office-goers also arranged for private cabs along with their colleagues, while other daily cab users blamed these companies for not resolving the issues sooner. “Why should we suffer? Just because they are private companies does not mean they can’t be held accountable. Whatever issue there is, they must sort it out,” said Rahul Shrivastav.
Another commuter, Tamanna Angral, said she felt cheated by these companies. “I bought an Ola Share pass which will expire on Tuesday. I still have at least four rides left, but can’t avail as there are just no cabs available. This is cheating,” she said.
However, a thaw is likely in a day or two with leaders of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) claiming that representatives of Ola came and met them to negotiate.
“They have agreed to withdraw the ₹500 penalty for denial of duty and also said they would give mediclaim to the drivers. On Tuesday we will get a written commitment from them,” Ravi Rathore, vice president of the union said.
Ola, however, refused to comment on the issue.