For the first time in the city, thousands of Ola and Uber drivers went on strike on Friday. Though the strike began in the morning, passengers have not seen major impact so far. If the government and the companies ignore their demands, the action committee of drivers has also threatened an indefinite strike from March 21, 2017.
When contacted, spokespersons of both Uber and Ola refused to comment on the issue.
Irked by their steadily reducing income, increasing penalties and a cut on the incentive policies at Ola and Uber, the cabbies have threatened this agitation. The drivers are further irked with the state government’s new rules under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Rules 2017, for regulating app-based taxis and controlling surge pricing, which varies with demand and supply, four days ago.
The strike has not had must affect on the ground as many passengers were getting taxis. However at some places, the cabs were unavailable. Even, at some locations they found surge pricing due to shortage of cabs.
‘Action Committee of Maharashtra against Ola and Uber’ (ACM), which has issued a strike call, claimed no app-based taxi will hit the city roads on Friday. “We are hoping all Ola and Uber cab drivers in the city go on a strike on Friday,” said Mohammad Yakub, 50, a member of ACM, which has been driving an app-based cab for the past three years. The committee assured the strike would be peaceful and non-violent.
@RidlrMUM It has! A Rs.200/- ride is costing me Rs.370/- today and the nearest cabs are 15 mins away!— Sohini Shrivastav (@sho_hini) March 10, 2017
According to the transport department’s estimates, there could be more than 30,000 app-based taxis on Mumbai roads, many of which are Ola and Uber cabs.
RTO officials, however, are sceptical about the response to the strike.
The action committee also claimed they have received the support of the unions of app-based cabbies in other metros including Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi. According to a member of committee, their indefinite strike from March 21 could be an indefinite strike, if the companies and the government ignore their agitations.