With most auto rickshaws off the roads due to strike, suburban commuters opted for other commuting options like buses, black and yellow taxis, app-based taxis or private vehicles during morning peak hours.
Although commuters complained about increased fare of app-based taxis and long queues at share-a-auto stands where few autos were running but these were the only options they had. The rates of app-based cabs, against whom the auto rickshaws are striking, were increased .
“The mini cabs that come at relatively less rates were not available on Ola. While prime vehicles were charged almost double the rate. Finally, I had to take black and yellow taxi for which I waited for almost half an hour. All other transport services were running full due to auto strike,” said Revati Desai, Santa Cruz resident who travels to Andheri by auto daily.
Some commuters found excessive line at share-an-auto stands. “Normally I get auto for Nahur station immediately from Bhandup east but today I had to wait for 10minutes,” said Asahya Rao, Bhandup resident who travels to Chembur daily by auto and train.
The auto rickshaw drivers affiliated to Mumbai Auto-rickshawmens Union began their one day strike from midnight, though it has received mixed response in many parts of the suburbs.
The Mumbai Autorickshawmens Union, one of the biggest unions representing auto drivers had given this strike call for their various demands including restrictions on app-based taxis of Ola and Uber.
Other auto unions have not participated or supported the strike. Specially in areas like Bandra, BKC, Bhandup east, Dahisar, Borivali, Mulund, Malad, Thane, Mira-Bhayander and many other areas many auto rickshaws were seen on roads..
“Auto rickshaws were seen plying normally at Bhandup east, when I went to drop my daughter at the school around 8am,”said a Bhandup resident.
According to commuters, in some other parts like Ghatkopar, Goregaon, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Oshiwara and Chembur, hardly few auto rickshaws were plying.