The Mumbai Taximen’s Union — the oldest and biggest union of taxi drivers in the city — is considering implementing some of the findings of a survey by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), a non-government organisation, regarding Ola and Uber’s taxi services.It said it will come up with ways to improve services by kaali peeli cabs. However, the union called the survey an attempt to defame conventional cabs.
Last month, the MGP had conducted an online survey, in which 76,169 commuters, including more than 62,000 from Mumbai had participated.
The online survey reported by HT on Wednesday revealed that 80 per cent of respondents preferred Ola and Uber over conventional cabs and 94 per cent felt harassed by black and yellow taxi and auto drivers.
“The publication of the report on auto and taxi drivers made by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat is one more attempt to defame the taxi trade, to spread falsehoods with the aim to help multinationals consolidate their business interest,” read a release issued on Wednesday. The city has been witnessing a tussle between conventional and newly-launched app-based taxis for the past two years.
While lashing out at the MGP, AL Quadros, leader of MTU said the views reflected in the survey are of a handful of people from the corporate sector and not of the common man who use kaali peelis for their daily commute over short distances. “Thousands of commuters who can’t afford to travel by Ola and Uber use kaali peelis. The Grahak Panchayat has not taken their views into consideration,” said Quadros.
According to the union, auto drivers adhere to the rules set by transport authorities, while Ola and Uber loot commuters under the pretext of surge pricing. However, the union also defended the practice of overcharging by drivers. “Very rarely there are instances of overcharging during heavy rains and flooding,” says the union release.
The union said Uber is losing hundreds of millions rupees daily in a bid to eliminate future competition. Quadros, however, said their union is taking immediate steps to educate kaali peeli drivers in a bid to change their behaviour and improve service.