Commuters bore the brunt of the ongoing strike by Ola-Uber drivers, having to shell out significantly more to book and ride in the handful of cabs that did ply in the city on Sunday.
“I had to take my wife to Escorts Hospital in south Delhi for a check-up. I booked an Uber cab and paid 1.9 times the fare. No cabs were available for our return journey. I tried booking thrice and every time the booking was accepted only for the driver to cancel it later. I finally had to take an auto to return,” said 32-year-old Kashmere Gate resident Shahzad Asad.
Ola and Uber drivers have pulled their cabs off the roads in Delhi-NCR demanding that their companies reinstate bonuses that they had doled out in the initial days, reduce their hiked commission rates, limit the number of cabs registered on the app and shorten working hours, among other issues.
With the agitators having threatened to step up their protests, commuters are likely to face a harrowing time on Monday and should be prepared to wait longer and pay more for their cabs.
Protesters allege that the number of cab drivers on strike had been increasing, and the demands of a workday will add more pressure. Some drivers have also stopped operating after reports of assault and harassment of drivers surfaced.
The question of surge pricing has been on the minds of policy makers in recent times. A Delhi High court appointed committee, headed by the secretary of ministry of road transport and highways had recommended “range bound dynamic pricing” to be allowed to effectively match demand and supply, in December last year. It had said that the maximum tariff may be permitted up to three times the minimum tariff.
“To increase the availability of taxis during night time, the committee recommended maximum tariff may be allowed up to four times that of minimum tariff from midnight to 5 in morning,” the report said. It added that these measures “would ensure adequate supply during peak hours and at night”.
The Delhi government earlier this month had told the Delhi High Court that it was in the process of formulating its own guidelines on app-based taxi aggregators including Uber and Ola keeping in mind the policy drafted by the committee.