Even as private cab aggregators claimed that they remained unaffected by the recent Supreme Court order to ban diesel vehicles, commuters had difficulties finding cabs during peak morning and evening hours on Monday.
A number of people had to reschedule their trips to the national capital because of non-availability of taxis, especially plying to Delhi and other parts of NCR.
“I cancelled my meeting in Delhi since I could not find any cabs in the morning. Public transport is inadequate and the metro trains are flooded during peak hours,” said Anuradha Lamba, an HR head in a city-based firm.
Several airport-goers were left stranded as cab drivers refused to cross the Delhi border. People had to either wait for another taxi or use the hardly available, Haryana roadways buses.
“There are no cabs available to go to the airport. I have a flight in three hours and have no idea how I will reach there. I will try a few more times to book a cab and if I don’t find anything, I will take the metro,” said Rakesh Patel of Gurgaon.
While Ola informed its commuters that cabs were not available, Uber surged its prices during peak hours. The hike was around 3 to 5 times more the normal rate.
“Uber was charging me 3.5 times more to go to Green Park in the morning. The surge is back and is causing a lot of inconvenience to people from Delhi-NCR. I can’t shell three times the money for a ride to work,” said Pratiksha Singh.
Even employees of private firms had difficulties in reaching office after their office cabs did not pick them up.
“My cab did not turn up to pick me up. By the time I reached office, I was late by over two hours. The company has a tie-up with a Gurgaon-based cab operator and he did not have ‘enough’ CNG cars to provide us transport. I saw news reports on long traffic snarls on roads leading to Delhi and I feel happy that I chose to travel via the Delhi metro to commute to office. At least I was not stuck in traffic jams,” said Vandana Singh, a commuter.
A number of firms have tie-ups with small as well as big cab operators to pick and drop employees, however, after the Supreme Court order to ban diesel cabs, available cabs have reduced to half or less than that.
An official from the transport department of a city-based firm said, “We have tie-ups with local cab operators as they are less expensive. However, after the ruling by the apex court, the company received a message that the operator will not be able to ply cabs on Monday. The company had no option but to allow all employees to work from home.”