A day after the Delhi High Court issued notices to striking cab drivers employed by app-based aggregators, Ola and Uber services improved on Tuesday as people could avail of taxis for trips within Gurgaon.
While instant availability continues to be an issue, the situation is likely to improve further on Wednesday as Sarvodaya Driver Association, the union of drivers on strike, said it was close to reaching an agreement with Ola officials who have in-principle acceded to their demands.
“Ola officials have given us assurances that our demands will be met. We are waiting to have the same documented and accordingly, resume cab services attached to Ola,” Kamaljeet Singh, a leader of the Sarvodaya Driver Association, said. Kamaljeet said the union is yet to agree terms with Uber officials.
The union has been protesting demanding revision of rates, life insurance for drivers and non-preference for taxis owned by the cab aggregators.
“Offering a seamless mobility experience has always been our priority. We are concerned about the inconvenience being caused to some of our customers across Delhi-NCR over the last few days. We’d like to reassure them that we are working closely with the local authorities to resolve the issue at the earliest,” an official statement from Ola read.
Uber officials declined to comment on the matter.
At certain localities, cabs reached customers after a wait time of 20 to 25 minutes and were available at normal fares.
“Yesterday (Monday), while booking a cab using the app, the wait time for a pick-up was slotted as 45 minutes and at double the fare. Today (Tuesday), the same reduced to 20 minutes and at the usual fare. The cab dropped me at the destination without any hindrance,” Shubra Kumar of Sector 53 said.
At certain locations, however, commuters could only book share cabs or premium cabs that cost higher and the option of budget cabs were unavailable. Some customers also said cab drivers remained reluctant to drive to destinations in New Delhi and cancelled bookings.
“While accessing the Ola cab app, I could only book my cab with the share option. After waiting for 15 minutes, a premium cab was available. With no alternative, I booked the cab but the driver refused to ply towards New Delhi fearing that his vehicle will be impounded by protesters,” Kunal Bharatram of Sector 52 said.
Owing to the ongoing strike, many Gurgaon residents used the metro service to reach their destinations. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Rapid Metro officials reported a 5% increase in ridership on Tuesday and maintained that they were equipped to handle the extra load.