With no relief from the sudden hike in prices by autorickshaw drivers, commuters have started connecting via Facebook and other social media platforms and with mobile applications to start auto-pooling. Ever since the odd-even road rationing scheme was implemented in Delhi on April 15, auto drivers have been overcharging passengers in the city.
People have been putting posts on Facebook and WhatsApp groups about their destination and the estimated time when they will reach. Interested commuters can connect with each other and share the ride charge.
Auto drivers are charging anywhere between `50 and `80 more, especially from people hiring autorickshaws from any of the five metro stations in Gurgaon.
“I and two others contacted one another on Facebook. I had posted about reaching Huda City Centre Metro station around 9.30 am and the other two were also reaching the city by then. As our offices are near, we shared the rickshaw journey. I saved `60,” said Aryamaan Raj, a delhi-based commuter.
Another IT professional, Anam Qureshi, said, “I share the autorickshaw with a mutual friend of my elder sister’s. Her office is in the same building and we stay nearby. I am saving half the money and I also feel safe when travelling with a person I already know.”
Commuters have also increased their dependency on ride-sharing mobile applications, including Ola, Uber, 360 Ride and Jugnoo. These applications allow commuters to share autorickshaw rides.
With no policies regulating autorickshaws and in the absence of fare meters, such applications help commuters to pay according to the kilometres travelled.
“Gurgaon has developed fast but the government forgot to install meters in autorickshaws. Drivers enjoy a monopoly when it comes to last-mile connectivity and charge a lot for small distances. These applications have come in handy,” noted Riva Akash Batra, a city resident.
A few other applications are also being launched to help commuters hire autos at a reasonable rate. One such application launched on Wednesday is The Zip Ride. The application helps in connecting women commuters for auto-pooling and it already has 25 users.
“There are no regulations for autorickshaws. With the application, we will connect women commuters on similar routes. Commuters can share the ride price and also enjoy other facilities, including magazines and an on-board menu,” said Chirag Sahni, founder, The Zip Ride.