Passengers hiring cabs owned by Ola and Uber were forced out of the vehicles on Friday by protesting drivers who raised various demands, including non-lowering of rates, life insurance for drivers and non-preference for taxis owned by the firms.
A union of drivers staged a protest outside the companies’ offices at Udyog Vihar Phase III and Sector 29 on Friday. Around 11 am, cabs owned by the firms were stopped by protesters across the city. Passengers on board were forced to get out and struggled to find alternate modes of transport.
Passengers also alleged that police were not present at these protest spots to check law and order.
With Ola and Uber cabs plying on limited stock, there was a 15-20% surge in prices, adding to the commuter’s woes.
Led by Sarvodaya Driver Association from New Delhi, the protesters rued that besides delay in payments, the recent lowering of fares to Rs 6 per km was leaving them penniless.
“The drivers only get 25% of the total fare for every hired journey. This covers fuel charges also. Hence, drivers are not being able to incur any sizeable profits after the fare revision,” Kamaljeet Singh, a leader of the Sarvodaya Driver Association said.
In addition, Kamaljeet said that the option of sharing cabs also deduced the profits further.
Protesters also complained that after purchasing their own cabs and employing drivers, the firms were giving preference to their own cars than to those owned by others.
They also demanded life insurance cover for drivers paid by the companies, recalling that they had not paid the family of a driver who had died in a car accident.