The online campaign to boycott taxis and auto rickshaws for a day on Thursday, Meter Jam, was partly successful among students and professional groups, while response among regular commuters was lukewarm.
The campaign, initiated by three city advertising professionals last week, had amassed more than 40,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter.
“We decided to support Meter Jam as we felt rickshaw drivers are arrogant and we are tired of dealing with their whims,” said Anuj Pandit (18), first year B.Com student and head of NM College Theatre Group. “Shared rickshaws should be more common in the suburbs.”
However, taxi and autorickshaw drivers in the city claimed that the boycott by a few hundred passengers had little effect on their daily business.
Grant Road taxi driver Suresh Mishra, who heard about the campaign on Thursday morning, said such an initiative was bound to be ineffective. “Mumbai’s population is rapidly increasing and the number of taxis has gone down. A strike is not likely to work,” he said.
“We got many emails from, young and old, talking about how they used buses or just walked on Thursday,” said Abhilash Krishnan, one of the organisers. “The success lies in not just making a visible difference, but in the spirit of participation.”