The black-and-yellow taxis in the city seem to have lost their first battle against app-based taxi aggregators. An app launched by the union of black-and-yellow taxis has been discontinued due to lack of response from the commuters as well as cabbies themselves.
The CWD Technologies, the IT firm that had developed the app called ‘9211 Cabs’ for taxi unions shut down the app and back end operation from last week. “We failed to get expected response from passengers and cabbies as well. So we have shut down the app,” said Malay Kothari, one of the partners of the company. “The cabbies just cry about losing business, but they are not ready to adopt changes.”
Interestingly, it happened the same week the state was in the process of finalising revised rules under Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme 2016 to bring a level playing field among all types of taxis.
Last year, joining hands together the two biggest taxi unions — Mumbai Taximens Union and Mumbai Taxi Association — had launched the taxi hailing service app to compete with other aggregators. A L Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximens Union, said initially there was good response from passengers, but it slowly went on reducing.
Taxi union leaders blamed the failure on lack of financial support as they were unable to offer big discounts. “We did not have financial backing like Ola and Uber,” said Quadros.
For luring passengers, the unions had even announced area-specific discount schemes but it failed to get expected results. Sources said despite offering 25% discount on meter fare in Navi Mumbai, the app received just 4-5 bookings in first three days.